Venus Williams, Roger Federer through to semifinal
The older Williams defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6/4; 7/6, while 17-time grand slam winner, Federer, dismissed sensational German, Mischa Zverev 6/1; 7/5; 6/2.
The women’s match was the first on the Rod Laver Arena in the ninth schedule, with Venus serving first to hold her serve. Pavlyuchenkova also held and broke Venus to lead 2-1, but in a pattern that defined the match, Venus broke back to level.
The Russian lady took the fifth and seventh games on breaks of Venus’ serve, but the American retaliated to level and held her serve to lead 5-4.Serving to save the set, Pavlyuchenkova lost the first point when Venus sent back a second serve for a winner. She lost the game and Venus had the set 6-4.
The two women held their opening service game for one game apiece, but Venus lost her serve when she drove a backhand wide to concede the game.
In the third game, Venus ran down a drop volley and hit a winner to attain deuce and clinched the game with a crosscourt backhand winner. In the seventh game, Pavlyuchenkova took Venus’ serve to lead 4-3, but could not consolidate and the tally got to four games all.
Before serving in the ninth game, Venus looked through the opening in the roof to assess the sun, a factor that affected the players, before serving in the ninth game. Both players reached six games each for a tiebreaker.
Venus served first in the tiebreak and dropped the point off a forehand return winner. Pavlyuchenkova took her first service point to lead two points to none, but lost the second service point. Venus lost her serve to fall behind 1-3 but held to reduce the deficit 3-2 when Pavlyuchenkova hit a service return into the net. The Russian made a double fault to three-all.
On the changeover, Pavlyuchenkova stopped at her chair but Venus walked straight to the baseline. A second serve by Pavlyuchenkova was returned for an outright winner for Venus’ first lead in the tie breaker.
In the eighth point, Pavlyuchenkova’s attempted service return winner missed the line and was challenged unsuccessfully. Venus delivered a first serve that was returned but she drove a winner deep to Pavlyuchenkova ‘s left side and had match point.
Pavlyuchenkova missed her first serve. There was a slight hesitation before the second serve which sailed over the line for a double fault. Venus won 7/6 and was through to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the third time in her long career.
It was her 58th win at the event, since her first time in 1997. The match lasted one hour and 48 minutes. Venue will next face Coco Vandewenghe, who dusted seventh seeded Garbine Muguruza 6/4; 6/0 in the other quarterfinal match.
The match between Roger Federer and Mischa Zverev was full of great anticipation and had Carlos Ramos as Chair Umpire.Federer won the toss and elected to serve. He missed the first delivery, but on the second serve, Zverev hit a backhand return into net.Federer hit a winner to lead for 30-0, followed by a Zverev error and a missed second volley on an approach behind Federer’s second serve.
On Zverev’s serve for the second game, Federer missed a passing shot and a net-cord gave the serve 30-15. The leftie delivered a serve at 171km/g and charged the net, but Federer’s return sailed past him.
Federer had the break to lead 2-0, he dropped the first two points in the third, but delivered a 200km/h serve to reach 30-all and won the game on a service return error.
Zverev lost the fourth game when Federer passed him at net with a backhand shot.4-0. The Swiss maestro won the fifth game at love, sealing it with a spectacular overhead smash. He was up 5-0 at exactly 12 minutes into the match.
In the sixth game, an overhead winner by Zverev drew a long ovation. He was passed again to level 15-all but delivered an ace down the middle, followed by two a service return errors by Federer and he got his first game. The stadium audience applauded. Serving for the set, Federer made a volley winner but hit a short ball off the frame off the racket into the crowd. He hammered a 202km/h ace but a net cord leveled points. He reached 40-30 but was deuced yet won with a volley winner off a high ball to his backhand. He had the first set six games to one.
The German player won the first game of the second set, with outstanding volleys and service winners. Federer promptly took his serve, but Zverev held for 2-1 and broke the Swiss’ serve for a 3-1 lead on a streak of eight straight points.
Zverev dropped the fifth game on a missed volley at 15-40, but Federer fought back to leveled at three-all and got one service break to have the second set 7-5.
In the third set, a long rally ensues for the fifth game that Federer took. He consolidated to lead 4-2. In the seventh game, Zverev had game point but was deuced. With the first advantage point, Federer ripped a service (to his backhand) down the line for the break. Serving for the set at 5-2; he opened with a service winner but the game reached deuce. Then with an advantage, Federer drove a winner crosscourt for a winner and the match.
Federer was through to the semi-final in his quest for a fifth title and the first Grand Slam since he won Wimbledon in 2012. His opponent on Friday is compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Frenchman, Joe Wilfred Tsonga 7/6 (2); 6/4; 6/3.
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