Sports

Fellow Swiss can't keep Federer from advancing

MELBOURNE, Australia - Defending champion Roger Federer advanced to the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over Stanislas Wawrinka early today in a mismatch that had the intensity of a practice session.

Federer, aiming to become the first man to win five Australian titles, was playing in his record-tying 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal. He is into his eighth consecutive semifinal at Melbourne Park.

No. 19 Wawrinka struggled against Federer in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a Grand Slam. He had beaten Federer only once in seven matches.

“I obviously played Stan many times in practice and in matches ... maybe a bit of a battle for him to get used to the conditions,” Federer said. “I had to fight extremely hard and I thought Stan played an amazing tournament.”

Wawrinka was on a nine-match winning streak.

Federer next plays the winner of today’s later match between No. 3 Novak Djokovic and Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych. Federer’s past two Grand Slam losses have come against them — against Berdych at Wimbledon and Djokovic at the U.S. Open.

For Federer, the match will be more about making the final than seeking revenge.

“I got them back a couple of times at the end of the year,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need to get back at them necessarily, but I’m not just going to come out here and give them the match.”

In women’s quarterfinals, Li Na beat Andrea Petkovic, 6-2, 6-4, to set a new benchmark for tennis in China by reaching back-to-back semifinals a the Australian Open.

Her next foe is the winner of the later quarterfinal between No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

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