MELBOURNE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Defending champion Roger Federer reached a record seventh Australian Open final when South Korean Chung Hyeon retired injured in the second set of Friday’s semifinal, trailing 6-1 5-2.
The 21-year-old Chung, who stunned six-time winner Novak Djokovic in the fourth round, was forced to call it quits two games after being treated for a blister on his left foot.
”I thought the first set was normal,“ Federer said. ”I couldn’t tell what was going on with my opponent.
”In the second set, I felt he was getting slower. He’s had a problem with the blister. It hurts - a lot. At some point it’s too much and you make things worse.
“Clearly I‘m happy to be in the final - but not like this. He’s had such a wonderful tournament.”
Federer, chasing his 20th grand slam title, will face Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.
Earlier in the day, Hungarian Timea Babos and France’s Kristina Mladenovic claimed their first grand slam title together, defeating Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-3 in the women’s doubles final.
Ruthless Federer makes final as chastened Chung quits
Young gun Chung fires a blank after blister trouble
Babos, Mladenovic win women’s doubles
Ruthless Cilic routs Edmund to reach final
Edmund baffled by media spotlight after run
Halep reaps reward for aggressive approach
Cornet blames missed test on ‘misunderstanding’
Order of play on Saturday
Highlights of Friday’s 12th day of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year (times in GMT):
1100 BABOS-BOPANNA THROUGH TO MIXED DOUBLES FINAL
India’s Rohan Bopanna and Timea Babos of Hungary progressed to the mixed doubles final, defeating Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner and Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 7-5 5-7 (10-6) on Margaret Court Arena.
The fifth-seeded pair will meet Croatian Mate Pavic and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski in the final.
Roger Federer advanced to the final after his opponent Chung Hyeon retired in the second set of the semi-final with blisters on his feet. Swiss Federer, who is chasing his 20th grand slam, won the first set 6-1 and was leading 5-2 in the second.
Chung took an injury timeout when he was down 4-1 in the second set.
“I’ve played with blisters in the past and it hurts a lot. Sometimes it’s too much... I could tell something was wrong before he took the injury timeout,” Federer said.
0644 BABOS-MLADENOVIC WIN DOUBLES TITLE
Hungary’s Timea Babos and France’s Kristina Mladenovic won their first grand slam trophy together by defeating Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-3 in the women’s doubles final.
0521 WOMEN‘S DOUBLES FINAL UNDERWAY AT MELBOURNE PARK
Play is underway at Melbourne Park with the women’s doubles final on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the men’s singles semi-final.
The temperature was 27 degrees Celsius on a partly cloudy day. Read our preview of the day’s action here: (Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Hardik Vyas; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/John O‘Brien)