Roger Federer has booked his spot in a 39th grand slam semi-final after a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych.
The world number three downed the sixth-seeded Berdych in two hours and 12 minutes, setting up his 12th in the last four at the Australian Open.
Federer wasn’t at his best early on, with the Swiss stuttering his way to five unforced errors within the first three games. It was on the back of such errors that Berdych broke in the third game to go 2-1 up.
The advantage would be short-lived, though, with Federer breaking back immediately on the back of a slightly sloppy game from Berdych.
Despite not really hitting his straps, Federer was still on level pegging, and one felt that Berdych needed to make his move if he was to triumph. It was Federer who took the decisive action though, getting a mini-break in the tiebreaker on the back of a well-executed drop shot. The four-time champion wouldn’t surrender the edge and sealed the tiebreaker 7-4.
Federer came out for the second set moving better and finding his range with his groundstrokes while being more effective at the net.
A scorching backhand passing shot saw Federer claim a break in the opening game of the second set and in the seventh game he made it a double break; the 34-year-old had well and truly taken control.
It had appeared that Berdych was tiring, with a gruelling five-setter in the previous round perhaps taking its toll. The Czech certainly had renewed bounce in his step when he claimed a surprise break early in the third.
However, as was the case in the first set, Federer broke back immediately, this time, courtesy of a Berdych double fault.
The sixth seed had taping removed from his left ankle at the changeover, but it didn’t change his fortunes.
A tense ninth game ended with Federer converting his fourth break point of the game to hand him the chance to serve for the match. He would make no mistake and wrapped up the match in straight sets.
Federer will now face the winner of Tuesday’s second quarter-final between Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.
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