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Sunday 19 August 2018

Swiss roll for champ Federer

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

The manner of Wawrinka's wins over Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick in his two previous matches offered hope that he could test the defending champion, but the 19th seed was simply blown away as Federer cruised through 6-1 6-3 6-3 in Melbourne.

Federer was quickly out of the blocks and raced through the opening set after he broke his opponent 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. Soon down two sets and with Federer's first-serve percentage moving up to the 80pc mark, there was never going to be any 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 set as Federer broke with a winner down the line.

The world number two did not let up and cruised through in one hour and 47 minutes.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal fired out a warning to his rivals by beating Marin Cilic yesterday.

The Spaniard, who is bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slams simultaneously, set up a quarter-final against countryman David Ferrer after seeing off the big-serving Croatian 6-2 6-4 6-3.

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