Cape Times

Federer, Wawrinka storm to Swiss showdown in NYC

- Steve Keating

NEW YORK: Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka shrugged off the threat of rain to storm into the US Open semi-finals yesterday, while Simona Halep stood up for the younger generation to complete a women’s final four that will feature three thirtysome­things.

Moved from the Arthur Ashe Stadium court to Louis Armstrong to bring Federer’s match forward, Wawrinka appeared untroubled by the change of venue, needing just an hour and 47 minutes to repel big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 6-0.

Second seed Federer turned in an equally economical effort, brushing aside Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3 6-1 in a tidy 87 minutes to set up an all-Swiss semi-final tomorrow.

The other side of the draw features a battle of the big men, with top seed Novak Djokovic taking on defending champion Marin Cilic.

“Emotionall­y it’s not so hard for me,” said Federer, who holds a commanding 16-3 advantage over his Davis Cup teammate and reigning French Open champion. “But subconscio­usly, you know he knows what your preference­s are, where you like to go and where you’re probably going to go.

“That’s the weird part. I feel we meet each other somewhere in our minds before the point is being played out.”

Anderson, meanwhile, lacked the energy he displayed in a fourth round upset of third seed Andy Murray, allowing Wawrinka to dictate play.

“I’ve improved a lot over the past three years and feel much closer to his level now,” Wawrinka said of Federer. “He is playing really well here so I will need to be at my best.”

Halep moved closer to a first grand slam singles title after edging Victoria Azarenka 6-3 4-6 6-4 to set up a meeting with 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta, who toppled fifth seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-2 to join compatriot 32-year-old Roberta Vinci in the last four.

With Serena Williams, 33, also in the last four, 23-year-old Halep will be conceding almost a decade of experience to her challenger­s. – Reuters

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