Federer sets up Cilic showdown

26 January 2018 21:22:05 GMTPlus11

Roger Federer has admitted that he is relishing the opportunity to add to his Grand Slam title collection, having reached a seventh Australian Open final.

Five-time champion Federer was given an easy ride in his Melbourne semi-final as opponent Hyeon Chung lasted less than two sets before being forced to retire due to blisters on his left foot.

Clearly I'm happy to be in the final, but not like this.

Roger Federer

However, the Swiss - who faces Marin Cilic in the final - was in total command when the premature end came, as he was leading 6-1 5-2 against the first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist.

And afterwards, Federer had sympathy for Chung, saying in his on-court interview: "I thought the first set was normal. I couldn't tell what was going on with my opponent.

"In the second set I felt he was getting slower. Clearly I'm happy to be in the final, but not like this."

Federer and Cilic have met on nine previous occasions, including in the final of Wimbledon last summer, with the Croat having won just once against the Swiss maestro.

That victory came in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open, where Cilic went on to claim his only Grand Slam title to date.

Cilic is available at 7/2 to defeat Federer on Sunday and is 9/1 to do so in four sets, with Federer 11/2 to prevail in a five-setter.

And 19-time Grand Slam winner Federer is looking forward to another chance to add to his major collection, having claimed both the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns last year after going more than four years without a big win.

He added: "I know how hard it is to win in any major. Years ago I ran into the Novaks and Rafas along the way and they blocked me for some time.

"I was going to be happy to win one more before I retired. Now here we are, I'm one match away from another."

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