Roger Federer played great tennis for a week and a half at Melbourne Park, the venue of the Australian Open, which bills itself as the Grand Slam of Asia and the Pacific. Australia, of course, is a continent in its own right, but it is closely interested in Asian and Pacific affairs. Federer was a feared and loved power here a few years ago — feared by his adversaries, loved by the fans, who appreciate his grace and classical form. He won four championships here, most recently in 2010. The fans still love the beauty of his game and the demeanor of the champion that he carries with him even when he loses.
Given the poor level — by his standards, no one else’s — of his game last year, which knocked him all the way down to number seven in the ATP rankings, it was a victory in itself to make it to the semis.