Roger Federer in action in his quarter-final win against Mischa Zverev of Germany.
Roger Federer in action in his quarter-final win against Mischa Zverev of Germany.

Record means nothing, says Federer

TENNIS: Roger Federer says his 18-3 win record over fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka will count for nothing when the two meet for a place in the Australian Open final Thursday night.

Four-time champion Federer, who will play in his 41st grand slam semi-final, said there had been a lot of water under the bridge and 2014 Australian Open champion Wawrinka was a much better player now.

"Like a lot of guys, I was able to play them when they were young, which is, I guess, for the head-to-head an advantage,” Federer said.

"In the beginning, he was really struggling on faster courts. I played him in Rotterdam and other places.

"You could sense in his footwork, the way he was returning, that he was uncomfortable on them.

"That's why it was incredible for me to see that his first grand slam he was going to win was the Australian Open (in 2014).

"If I would have called any grand slam for him to win it was always going to be the French, because he moved so effortless on clay. That's his base. That's his DNA really.

"He's done incredibly well on all the other surfaces, including grass actually, also indoors, hard and fast. He's become such a good player, I super respect that.

"I don't care much about head-to-heads.”

Wawrinka, too, does not want to look backwards as he aims to add to his trophy collection of three major titles.

After winning last year's US Open, the 31-year-old is on track to become Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic to win back-to-back grand slam crowns since Andre Agassi in 1999-2000.

And after also winning the French Open crown in 2015, Wawrinka said could beat anyone on his day.

"Now I'm more confident with myself,” he said.

"When I step on the court, doesn't matter who I play, I know what I have to do if I want to win.

"For sure, against Roger, it's always special because he's so good. He's the best player of all time. He has answer for everything.

"But I managed to beat him in a grand slam, so we'll see.”



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