Australian Open: Federer rolls Stan as Wozniacki survives scare

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MELBOURNE - Roger Federer put impeccable championship form on display as Tuesday’s highly touted all-Swiss Australian Open quarter-final evolved into just another winning walkabout for the world number two in 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 drilling of Stanislas Wawrinka.

Women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki kept a tenuous grip on her number one ranking as she preyed on the tiring legs of 30-year-old French Open winner Francesca Schiavone for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 trip to the semi-finals.

Italy’s battling veteran Schiavone had played for almost five hours in a marathon weekend win and ran out of puff after leading a set and 3-1. Wozniacki survived in the quest for her first Grand Slam title to back up the top ranking she earned in 2010.

Schiavone will still rise to fourth, the best ever for an Italian woman. She saved three match points as Wozniacki served for victory before finally going down in nearly two and a half hours.

Men’s holder Federer easily rolled to his fifth-consecutive win in his series against Wawrinka, his Swiss “little brother,” with whom he won the Beijing Olympic doubles gold medal in 2008.

Federer, bidding for a 17th Grand Slam title, was majestic in the one-hour, 47-minute win, his seventh of eight against Wawrinka. The pair both came to the match with identical 11-0 records this season after Wawrinka won the Chennai title and Federer captured Doha.

“I think it was a good match for me really, I started off well,” said Federer. “I was able to serve and return really well. I did not expect myself to do that because last time I played him he was really able to get the free points.

“There are no secrets out there for him or me. It may have been more of a battle for him since he had won his last two matches at night. I had to fight really hard, Stan has played an amazing tournament.”

So thorough was the Federer domination that Wawrinka, who fired 24 aces in his previous win over Andy Roddick, managed just one on the day - and that came three games from the end.

The world number two is to play in his eighth-straight Australian Open semi-final, facing either Novak Djokovic or Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych.

Both men got the better of Federer in 2010 Grand Slams, Berdych knocking him out of a Wimbledon quarter-final and Djokovic doing the same in the US Open semis.

“The opponents only get tougher as the tournament goes on,” said Federer, 59-7 overall in Melbourne with four titles.

“Djokovic and Berdych did beat me, but I got both of them back later in the season,” said Federer, who triumphed over Berdych in Canada and Djokovic in Shanghai, Basle and London. “I won’t be coming out to hand them the match. I will give everything I have.”

In the women’s quarter-finals, China’s Li Na duplicated her record-setting semi-final place from a year ago as she advanced 6-2, 6-4 over German Andrea Petkovic.

The Petkovic victory dance, which had become a tournament favourite, was put on hold as Li dominated the encounter in 80 minutes. The ninth seed from Wuhan has now secured a top 10 WTA ranking through her success, which was marked by five breaks of the Petkovic serve.

She could break into the top five with a title victory at the weekend.

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