Federer rolls Stan as Wozniacki survives scare in Melbourne

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.

“Francesca was playing well, it was tough for me to get the right rhythm, and I was making mistakes on the important points,” said Wozniacki. “I just thought, ‘take one ball at time and don’t give up. If you get the chance, you need to take it now, otherwise it’s going to be too late.’”

Schiavone was pleased with her fight but sorry to have blown her winning chance. “I had a good chance to keep going, improving, and make other really good results. I’m a little bit disappointed, it’s normal.

“As a tennis player, I want to have always something more, particularly when I have a chance. I want to catch it. Maybe today I didn’t do it.”

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 didn’t 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 Novak Djokovic, ho put out Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-1.

The Serb won 12 of the last 15 games on the way to victory. “He’s difficult when he’s in his comfort zone,” said the winner. “The second set was very close, I was lucky to get the win in the tiebreak.

“It was a huge confidence boost to win the second set. I relaxed a bit and could go for my shots.”

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.

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