Roger Federer reached his fourth Aussie Open final and fourth consecutive Grand Slam final when he defeated Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals.
The pair played a high quality match but Fed held the edge in all categories: 51 winners against only 15 errors, 16 aces, 66% success on first serve deliveries, and 17 of 27 net approaches. A-Rod held 3 break points in the match but was unable to convert any of them. Bad luck.
In his post-match presser, Fed was asked about the continuing expectations he faces in his career:
Q. Last year you said you had created a monster of expectations. Has that faded for you given how you played in the year since, or do you still feel that weight?
RF: I'm still surprised how quickly the mood swings with the media, with the fans, with everybody.
If I lose a set or two sets against Berdych, everybody is like, Oh, my God, he's not the same anymore. And then you beat Del Potro and everything is back to normal. It's just not the way it's supposed to be, I don't think.
You don't lose your edge that quickly. It's just not possible. I know I'm playing well. I feel good. I know sometimes you can always run into a player that's hot and you can lose. I've been able to control my opponents, and definitely got close against Berdych.
I still think I fought hard and deserved the victory in the end. Came up with two great victories now against Del Potro and Roddick, and usually that's when I start playing my best: Towards the end of the tournament. I think this is where you should judge a great player.
Q. You obviously heard the criticism after the Berdych match. Do you get motivated by the swings you're talking about?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think that it's criticism, just opinions. Everybody can have an opinion and everybody can say what they feel like. I know I didn't play the perfect match, otherwise I would have been able to beat him more easily.
But I can take criticism, no problem, any day.
And who would he prefer to play in Sunday's final?
I'd like to play Fernando because he's never played a Grand Slam final before. I have an edge there. Playing Rafa is obviously, you know, more exciting because of the history we have playing in so many Grand Slam finals.Interesting statements from the 13-time Grand Slammer, especially that he's still surprised by the scrutiny after all these years. What's also surprising is Fed didn't say he'd prefer to play Rafa over Nando because, let's face it, a match against the world's top baller and his biggest rival would be the ultimate test and a more satisfying win.
Him being the best player in the world at the moment, it would make it a very intriguing match.
Maybe this time, though, Regal Rog just wants his 14th Grand Slam.
(images via Getty)