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Federer’s victory in 2010 gave him a fourth Australian Open title, but he will look to avoid a sixth semi-final defeat in seven years when he confronts Wawrinka in the first semi-final. Federer came into the 2017 Australian Open having not played competitive tennis since losing the Wimbledon semi-final to Milos Raonic, but he has shown very little signs of the knee problem that forced him to miss the second half of last season in his brilliant march to the last four in Melbourne.
Federer has surprised himself with his run to the semi-finals at the Australian Open where he will play compatriot Wawrinka. The Swiss ace is coming back after a six-month injury absence and is playing his first ranking tournament since last year’s Wimbledon and admitted that he was not expecting to reach the last four stage of the first Grand Slam of the year.
The former world number one started the campaign with wins over two qualifiers in the first two rounds, but has since seen off world number 10 Tomas Berdych and number five Kei Nishikori in the third and fourth rounds. Federer beat Andy Murray’s conqueror Mischa Zverev in straight sets in the quarter-finals and has now been tipped as one of the favourites to lift his fifth Australian Open crown.
Wawrinka was tested in his very first game at the Australian Open when he was taken to the fifth set by Martin Klizan. It was the wakeup call the Swiss needed after which he has lost just one set thus far. The three-time Grand Slam winner always brings his best tennis during Grand Slams, but will be aware of his poor record against his compatriot.
The 31-year-old has won one of their last three meetings but that was on clay at Roland Garros and will be hoping that he can use that experience to overcome Federer again on Thursday.