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Federer wins all-Swiss duel Down Under

Roger Federer after comfortably seeing off countryman Stanislas Wawrinka Keystone

Defending champion Roger Federer has advanced to the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

In a mismatch that had all the intensity of a practice session, Federer was playing in his record-tying 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal. He is into his eighth consecutive semifinal at Melbourne Park.

Wawrinka, seeded 19, was playing at this stage for only the second time at a major and struggled against Federer in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a Grand Slam. He had only beaten Federer once in their seven previous matches and walked out with the body language reflecting that.

Federer and Wawrinka combined to win the Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal for Switzerland and have been Davis Cup teammates. So meeting on such a big stage had challenges for both men.

“I play Stan obviously very different to what Roddick or Monfils [whom Wawrinka beat in previous rounds] or what other players might do against him. Clearly it’s not an easy match for him also,” said Federer, aiming to become the first man to win five Australian titles.

“I’ve been in so many quarterfinals, in this situation so many times before, that I have the experience and I have the game to be tricky for him. The scoreline suggests maybe it was easier than it looked like. I thought it was a pretty tough match.”

Wawrinka had only one look at a break chance against the 16-time grand slam winner, in the sixth game of the second set, and lost three straight points to let Federer off the hook. Federer cashed in on five of his seven break opportunities.

Federer now faces third seed Novak Djokovic, who beat sixth-seeded Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR