x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Roger Federer beats Stanislas Wawrinka to advance to semis

The word No 2 wins the all-Swiss quarter-final at the Australian Open and awaits either Tomas Berdych or Novak Djokovic.

Roger Federer concentrates during his quarter-final match against fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Roger Federer concentrates during his quarter-final match against fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.


MELBOURNE // Roger Federer moved into his eighth consecutive Australian Open semi-final with a convincing victory over Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

The manner of Wawrinka's victories over Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick in his two previous matches offered hope he could test the defending champion but the No 19 seed was simply blown away as Federer cruised through 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a last four clash with either Tomas Berdych or Novak Djokovic.

Federer was quickly out of the blocks and raced through the opening set, breaking Wawrinka in the second game and then again for a 5-1 lead.

The match could have turned in game six of the second set when Wawrinka claimed his first break point of the match. He was then presented with a makeable backhand pass up the line only to hammer it wastefully wide.

It signalled the beginning of the end for Wawrinka. His head dropped and, as the frustration started to mount, Federer capitalised, breaking in the next game with a backhand winner.

The 16-time grand slam winner threatened again when he brought up a set point at 5-3 on the Wawrinka serve. He missed it with an uncharacteristically sloppy drop-shot but second time round he made no mistake with a cross-court winner.

Down two sets and with Federer's first-serve percentage getting up to the 80 per cent mark, there was never going to be a way back for Wawrinka and he sensed it, smashing his racket into the court after dropping his serve once more at the start of the third as Federer broke with a winner down the line.

The world No 2 did not let up and cruised through in one hour and 47 minutes.

"I needed a good performance," said Federer. "I have played Stan many times and there are no real secrets out there.

"The start was crucial and it was maybe a battle for him to get used to the conditions after playing two matches at night."

As for Berdych and Djokovic, who beat Federer at Wimbledon and the US Open respectively last year, he denied revenge was on the agenda.

"No, I am not like that. They are great players, they hit the ball hard. I lost to both guys last year but got them back at the end of the year."