Ruthless Federer makes final as chastened Chung quits

Federer and McEnroe. Image Getty

A ruthless Roger Federer handed wounded Chung Hyeon an old-fashioned schooling before the South Korean quit with blistered feet trailing 6-1 5-2 in a damp squib of an Australian Open semi-final on Friday.

Federer had already ruthlessly claimed the first set 6-1 and was cruising 5-2 in the second set, when the Korean chose to opt out of the game.

Australian great Ken Rosewall is the only other man to have won a Slam title after his 35th birthday in the post-1968 Open Era, at 37 years old in the 1972 Australian Open.

Defending champion Federer will now meet Cilic, whom he defeated to win slam number 19 at Wimbledon past year - with the Croatian left in tears after struggling with blisters.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal, six-time champion Novak Djokovic and former victor Stan Wawrinka succumbed to injuries, while five-time finalist Andy Murray didn't even get to the starting line.

"We saw it against Rafa [Nadal] and we saw it again last night against [Kyle] Edmund".

Federer will meet Cilic in Sunday's final in a repeat of last summer's Wimbledon final - when coincidentally Cilic was in tears because of blisters.

In the Wimbledon final, Cilic himself was troubled by blisters on his left foot, too, but that was their only lopsided duel in the last five meetings.

"We will see a fresh and ready Marin this time around". He said: "I thought the first set was kind of normal, I couldn't tell what was going on with my opponent".




Nicknamed "The Professor" due to his trademark thick white-rimmed glasses, Chung said he retired because his blisters were "red raw".

The South Korean confirmed he had been struggling with multiple blisters for several days and an injection to try to numb the pain was not successful. Because he has played so many matches in the row, I think that's why it was a buildup.

"From the return, moving, forehand, backhand, serving, I think everything is in a good, solid spot".

"I don't want to say I gave up hope but I was going to be happy if I won one more major before I retired - absolutely, I would have taken that". Not under the circumstances I was hoping to or not planning with. It didn't work. Much worse than a regular blister.

"I think I've done everything pretty well, you know".

"I've played a great tournament so far, I'm playing much more aggressive, hitting most of the shots really good". But it will be all business on Sunday - and the defending champion is aware he can take no liberties with an opponent who has the game to blow anyone off court.

"I make first round 16, quarters and semis".

"I think he is already a great player, but we are talking next level excellence and I think he will achieve that".

"I played the first set without feeling him having really that many issues, to be quite honest". I'm happy to be able to make semis in a grand slam.

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