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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Federer to face Roddick in semis

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 19 January-1 February
Daily coverage: BBC Red Button, Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Sport website (Red Button coverage streamed on website throughout fortnight)
Wednesday's coverage: Rafael Nadal's match against Gilles Simon will be live from 0830 on Red Button, BBC Sport website and Radio 5 Live sports extra


Rogere Federer
Federer was in sensational form

Roger Federer was at his majestic best as he thrashed world number six Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-0 6-0 in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The second seed needed only one hour and 20 minutes to clinch victory.

He will now face Andy Roddick in the semi-finals after the American went through when defending champion Novak Djokovic retired in the fourth set.

Roddick was leading 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 2-1 when Djokovic quit after struggling in 40C heat on court in Melbourne.

Federer had to battle hard to overcome Tomas Berdych in five sets in the previous round, but the result of his quarter-final was never in doubt.

The Swiss star, chasing a fourth Australian Open title, broke his Argentine opponent in the fourth game and went on to clinch the first set with the minimum of fuss.

Djokovic philosophical after retirement

The 20-year-old Del Potro, who was playing in only his second Grand Slam quarter-final, could not make any impression as Federer kept up a superb standard, hitting 38 winners.

The second seed rattled off the next 12 games without reply to cruise into the last four and within two victories of a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title.

"I didn't expect a result like this. This is not usual," said Federer.

"When all of a sudden it clicks, it's a nice feeling. I tried out a few things and they all seemed to work."

Del Potro won just six points in the final set as he ran out of ideas and inspiration.

"I can't do nothing in the match," said the eighth seed. "He played like number one of the world."

Federer, whose struggle against Berdych came during the day session, admitted he preferred the cooler evening conditions when the ball does not fly so quickly.

The on-court thermometer hit 40C as Djokovic tackled an in-form Roddick.

606: DEBATE
88Chris05

The Serb regularly sought relief from an ice-pack during the changeovers and received treatment from the trainer in the third set before calling it quits at the start of the fourth.

Djokovic, who has now retired four times in Grand Slams, blamed the heat and the fact that his fourth-round match did not finish until the early hours of Monday morning.

"Conditions were extreme today. It did affect more on me than him, as you could see," Djokovic said.

"But that was the situation. I just have to cope with it. Really tried my best, but sometimes you can't fight against your own body."

Roddick, benefitting from a rigorous pre-season training regime with new coach Larry Stefanki, is through to his fourth semi-final in Melbourne.

"It's rewarding to come out on a day like today, when it's pretty hot, and feel pretty good. That's what you do the work for," he said.

The American broke a run of 11 straight defeats by Federer with victory in their most recent meeting in Miami last year.

"I think it helps. It's certainly not going to hurt at all," said the 26-year-old.

"I'm probably the least favoured of anybody to make it to the semis here. I'm just going to keep going and keep my head down and keep working."

As expected, the opening set between Roddick and Djokovic was dominated by heavy serving, with a tie-break required after neither player forced a break point.

It was Djokovic who came through the breaker, backing up his serve with some heavy forehands to race 4-0 clear and eventually take it 7-3.

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic had to be escorted off court by the trainer

The pattern of the match continued until game seven of the second set, when some brave sorties to the net paid dividends for Roddick and he finally got the break.

The American then forced another break point two games later but his failure to convert made little difference as he served out the set in game 10.

As Roddick got stronger so Djokovic started to struggle physically, hitting two double faults and then setting up Roddick for a forehand pass to drop serve at the start of the third.

The Serb did well to break back immediately and then save another two break points in game three as suddenly both men looked vulnerable on serve.

Having edged ahead at 2-1, Djokovic called for a medical timeout and received treatment to his right leg, which he told the doctor was hindering his service action, his neck and shoulders.

The champion duly dropped his next two service games as he made several listless errors to fall a break behind, and then double-faulted to give up the double break.

Roddick served out the set and, having saved four break points at the start of the fourth set, Djokovic consulted the doctor once again and brought the match to an end after he was broken to love in game three.

The two remaining quarter-finals take place on Wednesday when Fernando Verdasco faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and world number one Rafael Nadal takes on Gilles Simon.



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see also
Aussie Open day nine photos
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Aussie Open day nine quotes
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Djokovic defends decision to quit
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Safina beats Dokic to reach semis
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Robson progresses in girls' event
27 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
19 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
07 Jan 09 |  Tennis


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