Djokovic eyes Federer in semi-final

Serbian to face world number two in semi-final of Australian Open after defeating Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

Wozniacki battled back from what looked like defeat to oust French Open champion Schiavone [GALLO/GETTY] 

Switzerland’s Roger Federer set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, after both recorded straight set wins at the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, in the women’s draw, Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will face Li Na of China in the semi-finals.

Federer, who is the defending champion, crushed his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1 6-3 6-3 on Tuesday, in what many had predicted would be a difficult match for the world number two.

But his lower-ranked countryman had no answer to Federer’s dominance, crafting only one break point throughout the one hour and 47 minute match.

In contrast, Federer broke five times, and hit five aces to Wawrinka’s one.

Despite promising to push the world number two, Wawrinka struggled to contain the 29-year-old’s power, a feature that has come into his game in recent years.

Both players have beautiful one-handed backhands, and it was a joy to see winners being hit from both ends of the court.

But it was Federer who won through to a semi-final meeting with Djokovic, the third seed.

The Serb had a topsy-turvey encounter with Tomáš Berdych, coming back from a break down in the second set after cruising through the first.

After surviving the second-set tie break, Djokovic turned on the style once more, winning 6-1 7-6 6-1 over the increasingly erratic Czech.

Federer will be looking for revenge against the younger Djokovic, after the Serb beat him in the US Open semi-finals at the end of 2010.

The former world number one has a good chance, with Djokovic struggling to maintain form throughout his match.

Berdych certainly played better in the second set, but much of that was to do with the third-ranked player going off the boil.

Against the class of Federer, he might not be so lucky.

Wozniacki through

In the women’s draw, Wozniacki battled back from what looked like defeat to oust French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 3-6 6-3 6-3.

After losing the first set, the world number one went a break down in the second before reeling off five straight games to take the set.

Although dominating most of the final set, the Dane missed match points on her own service game before finally breaking the Italian for the sixth time to win.

The victory ensured the 20-year-old will stay at number one at the end of the tournament, whoever wins the title.

It will also go some way in silencing her critics, with her having yet to win a Grand Slam of her own.

Standing in her way of a second Grand Slam final is Li, the Chinese number one.

By reaching the semi-finals for the second year in a row, Li has repeated what many saw as a shock run in the 2010 tournament.

There, she pushed eventual winner Serena Williams to the edge, going down in two tie-break sets.

To reach the final in Melbourne would be a huge achievement for the 28-year-old, who is still on a high following her victory at the Sydney International earlier this month.

On Tuesday, she saw off the challenge of the feisty Andrea Petkovic.

The German has become somewhat of a crowd favourite Down Under, and started brightly in both sets, before succumbing 6-2 6-4.

The 33rd ranked player has the game to reach the top 20 at least, and an improvement in her serve could see her break the top 10.

But Li, who will return to the top 10 on Monday regardless of her semi-final performance, dealt very well with the big-hitting German.

She will pose yet another threat to Wozniacki and could spring an upset.

Wednesday sees both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in their quarter final matches, while Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters also play.

With Nadal playing fellow countryman David Ferrer and Murray taking on Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, the only unseeded player left in the draw, a Nadal versus Murray semi-final looks likely.

Petra Kvitová will be looking to continue her good run of form against world number two Zvonareva, while Clijsters takes on Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.

Source : Al Jazeera


Scot looks every bit the contender as Nadal, Clijsters and Zvonareva also advance at the Australian Open.

24 Jan 2011
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