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Djokovic - Federer set up Australian Open semi-final showdown

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It's the match-up that all tennis fans have been waiting for ever since the draw was made for the 2016 Australian Open nearly a fortnight ago, and the big two haven't disappointed with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, armed with 9 Australian Open crowns between them, set for a semi-final showdown after picking up rather routine wins in their respective quarter-final outings on Australia Day.

Federer was up first, taking on 30 year old Czech Tomas Berdych, and it was the no.6 seed who struck first, breaking Federer's serve in the third game to nudge ahead. Federer though came back to force the opening set into a tiebreak, and a mini break early on was enough for him to pocket it 7-4.

The second set was a lot more routine for Roger as he started toying with Berdych, breaking serve twice to take it 6-2. Berdych offered some resistance in the third, going up an early break again, but Federer was too consistent for Berdych, producing 48 winners to ease past the challenger in straight sets 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4.

The second of the men's quarter-finals today had Japanese star Kei Nishikori challenging Novak Djokovic, who had had a very poor outing in the fourth round, sneaking past Gilles Simon despite committing 100 unforced errors. Djokovic had reacted to his Sunday debacle by taking Monday off, and while the world no.1 was a little rusty, especially when it came to his first serve, he had more than enough in his locker to crush Nishikori in straight sets.

Nishikori didn't really do himself any favours by making unforced errors galore, perhaps believing that he needed to really go for broke to challenge Djokovic. The approach didn't work at all as the Serb raced through the opening two sets, 6-2, 6-3 without brooking any resistance whatsoever. Nishikori made more of a match of it in the third, but a break of serve in a highly competitive 7th game allowed Djokovic to nudge ahead and make quick work of his quarter-final outing.

The Djokovic - Federer semi-final contest later this week will be the 45th meeting between the star duo with both having won 22 apiece. The duo squared off 8 times last year with Djokovic coming out on top 5-3. Djokovic won their most recent meeting in the Final of the ATP World Tour Finals, despite losing to Federer during the Round Robin stage earlier in that tournament.

Men's Singles - Quarter-finals

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. [7] Kei Nishikori (JPN) 62 63 64

[3] Roger Federer (SUI) d. [6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) 76(4) 62 64