As Federer took his routine stance to receive the Stan serve in the first game, he started his quest to enter the first hardcourt final since 2010 Australian Open. A long period indeed!
Federer’s serve was the talking point, while Wawrinka’s groundstrokes were expected to do the damage. Within no time Federer was down a break point, second serve and it probably rang bells of anxiety across the Arthur Ashe, a stadium that has been sunk in Federer’s charm since he first won here in 2004.
But that’s when Federer started being Federer, a kicked in second serve to set up a beautiful point, saving the game and then breaking Wawrinka later to take the opening set.
His compatriot was emotionally pumping himself with frequent shouts of C’mon, but across the net was a guy, immune to being affected by his opponent’s tantrums and doing what he does best – play flawless tennis.
Federer increased his level of first serve wins in the second set, and despite letting 4 break points slip away, served out a one minute game and took shot at the Wawrinka serve again. The elder Swiss dominated the baseline rallies, the serves and at the net, outfoxing Stan in every aspect to earn a break.
Wawrinka soon looked to have bowed down to his friend’s greatness, losing his serve again to go down two sets to love.
Never ever has Federer looked this quick on his feet at a tennis court, chasing balls, smashing overhead winners. Soon the Swiss broke again to go 3-1 up in the third, the final nail had been placed, and another glorious night was inching closer to its conclusion.
As Roger swung his Wilson on match points, amidst the brouhaha of silence, at the biggest tennis stadium in the known universe – he knew where it was going to land, and as Stan failed to return it, those almost skinny hands went up yet again, under the floodlights of Flushing Meadows, shining like never before.
6-4 6-3 6-1, against the fifth seed in the semifinals of a major, for Federer it wasn’t a big deal, he has achieved it numerous times, for us- it was another satisfying couple of hours, watching the maestro in his godly zone.
At 34, he has entered his 27th major final, and that gap of seven is bound to reduce if he carries on this way!
“I’ll be ready for it (for the final)” – said Federer, following which he delighted the attendees with his mojo!
Watches tennis, cricket and football. Mostly tennis.