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Even Federer wowed by his play


NEW YORK—Even Roger Federer is wowed by how well he’s playing at age 34—and the ease with which he’s winning at this U.S. Open.

Federer is into his 10th semi-final at Flushing Meadows and record 38th at all major tournaments.

To get back to his first final in New York since 2009, he’ll have to beat someone he knows quite well: Swiss Olympic and Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka.

The No. 2-seeded Federer and No. 5 Wawrinka won quarter-finals about as handily as can be last night.

Federer never faced a break point, compiled a remarkable 50-8 advantage in winners, and needed less than 90 minutes hours to dismiss 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It’s nice to play this way,” Federer said.

“And, maybe at my age, to run through five opponents the way I have done here at the U.S. Open, I don’t consider that normal, to be quite honest, even though I expect it in some ways,” he added.

Not only has Federer won all 15 sets he’s played, he only has dropped 44 games. He has won 67 of his 69 service games.

And he’s done it while playing attacking tennis. Against Gasquet, he won the point on 22-of-28 trips to the net.

“I don’t feel like I’m as old as I am. I still feel young,” Federer said.

“So it’s nice to get rewarded with the hard work and [know] that, actually, I’m able to play sort of ‘fun’ tennis.”

Federer hasn’t won a major title since Wimbledon in 2012, losing finals there to No. 1 Novak Djokovic last year and this past July.

“It’s just nice to see how he’s moving,” Wawrinka said about Federer.

“You think he’s flying on the court.”

And make no mistake: Wawrinka has been watching.

He even pulled out one of Federer’s trick—a recently-developed tactic of charging to the service line for a second-serve return—while eliminating 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

In tomorrow’s other men’s semi-final, Djokovic will face defending champ Marin Cilic.

Djokovic has won all 13 previous meetings.

The women’s semi-finals are scheduled for tonight, although there is rain in the forecast.

No. 1 Serena Williams will face unseeded Roberta Vinci of Italy while No. 2 Simona Halep meets No. 26 Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

It’s the first time two Italian women reached the semi-finals at the same major.

Halep and Pennetta advanced yesterday by beating two-time major champions.

Halep composed herself after a third-set rain break and defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 while Pennetta beat Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Williams is chasing tennis’ first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it back in 1988.

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