Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Roger Federer Breezes Past Stanislas Wawrinka, Advances to Semifinals

Defending champion Roger Federer breezed by compatriot and friend Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 to advance into the semifinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Federer, who has won the tournament four times since 2004, has now advanced into the semifinals for eight-straight years.

The straight-set thrashing came somewhat as a surprise, with Wawrinka riding a nine-game winning streak and already having won a season-opening event at the Chennai Open. The 19th-seeded Wawrinka had not dropped a set throughout the tournament in Melbourne Park, including back-to-back victories over Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick.

But the second-seeded Federer, who had been challenged and taken the distance by Wawrinka at the Stockholm Open last October, dominated his gold-medal doubles partner from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games from the outset. He finished Wawrinka off in less than two hours.             

Powered by an impressive serve, Federer played an all-around solid game. The Swiss did not have his serve broken once throughout the match, winning 72 percent on his first serve and 76 percent on his second serve. Federer's return game was spectacular as well, breaking Wawrinka five times. Federer frustrated the fellow Swiss so much Wawrinka smashed his racket into the ground causing it to fold over in half.

Including last year's victory at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and this year's victory at the Qatar Open, Federer carries a 15-match win streak heading into the semifinals.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion will either face third-seeded Novak Djokovic or sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych in a semifinal match. Djokovic knocked Federer out of last year's U.S. Open, while Berdych defeated him at Wimbledon. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal is still alive in the tournament as well.


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