Roger Federer advanced to his 12th Australian Open semi-final on Tuesday with an efficient 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4 victory over sixth seed Tomas Berdych.
Federer was pressed hard in the opening set, taking it in a tie-break after swapping service breaks with Berdych, before the Swiss won the important points in the second set to take control of the match.
The Czech broke early in the third set before 17-times grand slam winner Federer broke back in the third game and upped the pressure on his 30-year-old opponent, breaking again in the ninth then serving out to seal it in two hours,16 minutes.
Federer now waits the winner of the quarter-final between world number one Novak Djokovic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who play later on Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic to play Federer
Defending champion Novak Djokovic issued a chilling warning to his Australian Open challengers on Tuesday by storming to a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over seventh seed Kei Nishikori to set up a blockbuster semi-final against Roger Federer.
The world number one was far from his imperious best and struggled on serve but was content to allow his Japanese opponent to fall on his own sword with 54 unforced errors under the Rod Laver Arena floodlights.
Nishikori broke the Serb twice in the third set and edged 3-1 ahead but was unable to capitalise on his own serve and threw his racquet onto the court in a rare show of frustration.
Djokovic fired a sizzling cross-court backhand winner to close out the match and will make his sixth appearance in the last four at Melbourne Park, having avenged his loss to Nishikori in the 2014 U.S. Open semi-finals.