NEW YORK — This year’s US Open will feature a serious Swiss storyline that isn’t full of holes: Roger Federer will meet Davis Cup partner Stan Wawrinka in a semifinal match Friday.
Wednesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, No. 2-seeded Federer throttled No. 12 Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in a startlingly swift 87 minutes.
Earlier, Wawrinka similarly dispatched No. 15 Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 in a more mundane 107 minutes.
On the surface, Federer appears to have the upper hand; he has won 16 of 19 previous matches against Wawrinka, with all three of Wawrinka’s wins coming on clay. Wawrinka won the last one, an emphatic straight-sets victory in the French Open quarterfinals on his way to the title.
“He’s the best player ever,” Wawrinka said of Federer. “He’s playing so good, especially since the summer. I know people love him here, so hopefully I will steal some support.
“Hopefully I can still play more amazing tennis in the next one.”
Federer, in his on-court interview, said he was looking forward to it.
“I think Stan played a wonderful match against me in Paris,” he said. “He deserved it. Throughout his career, he’s improved a lot, kept on working.
“It’s really cool to have two Swiss in the semifinals of the US Open.”
Since celebrating his 34th birthday last month, Federer has yet to lose a set, running the table in Cincinnati in 10 sets and adding 15 more here for a total of 25 straight. He has frolicked through the draw here, drawing only a test from American John Isner, who forced him to two tiebreakers before losing the final set of their fourth-round match 7-5.
“I have tried to look at the big picture to hopefully still be playing at a high level at this age,” Federer said. “I think I have worked on my game moving forward, have been able to take the ball earlier, and, you know, I think I’m volleying better than I have the last 10 years. … Now because my serving is working quite well, you put those two things together, and standing in on the return as well, I think has changed the dynamics a little bit. It’s all about keeping yourself in shape and staying injury-free. And motivated, I guess.”
With eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi, as well as Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper in attendance, Federer hit 16 aces. He also was credited with 50 winners, against only 21 unforced errors.
Pennetta second Italian woman in semi-finals
Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta reached the US Open women’s semi-finals for the second time in three years on Wednesday, outsmarting fifth seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-2 to add to the Czech’s Flushing Meadows frustration.
The Italian flag will feature prominently in the semi-finals with the 33-year-old Pennetta joined in the last four by 32-year-old compatriot Roberta Vinci, who booked her spot on Tuesday with a victory over Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic.