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Wednesday, Feb 26th

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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.

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There was double delight for fans of British tennis on Monday with world no.2 Andy Murray and unseeded Johanna Konta advancing to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, the first time in 39 years that Britain is represented in the final 8 of both the men's and women's singles in a Grand Slam.

Murray wasn't at his best on Monday evening, yet had more than enough in his locker to quell the challenge of 16th seeded Australian Bernard Tomic in straight sets. A 4-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, Murray hit 43 winners to Tomic's 33, and had just 22 unforced errors to Tomic's 56, suggesting that it was largely one way traffic as the Scot beat an Aussie for the 17th straight time in his career.

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Milos Raonic, a winner in Brisbane a week before the Australian Open, continued his fine summer Down Under, battling past 2014 champion Stanislas Wawrinka in a five set cliffhanger that witnessed some fantastic tennis and massive momentum swings. As his reward the lucky 13th seed advanced to his second consecutive quarter-final here in Melbourne Park where he will take on a resurgent Gael Monfils himself a four set winner over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.

Raonic, who had not beaten Wawrinka in any of their previous four encounters, came out today with a gameplan to move forward at every opportunity and take the game to the Swiss. Raonic came to the net an incredible 83 times over the course of 5 sets, and though he was only successful 65% of the time, the tactic did force Wawrinka into coming up with winners on a relentless basis, and the toll eventually told on the no.4 seed.

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Seventh seed Angelique Kerber will get an instant opportunity to seek revenge for her defeat at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the final of the 2016 Brisbane International, with the duo registering lopsided wins today to book their spots in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Kerber took on fellow German Annika Beck in her fourth round match today to open proceedings on Rod Laver Arena, and after needing an hour to win a poor first set 6-4, she raced through the second in a shade under half that time to register a 6-4, 6-0 win. Beck was undone by her 34 unforced errors, and her inability to hold serve with any level of consistency. The 21 year old though has a bright future ahead of her and will take heart from her run to the fourth round here this year.

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The top four seeds in the men's draw took their pre-anointed places in the Australian Open quarter-finals, but it was a day of some lopsided scorelines with Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori dominating their respective fourth round opponents, while Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych both needed five sets to squeeze into the last 8.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic played arguably his worst match in over a year, but somehow still managed to win, despite making an incredible 100 unforced errors against 14th seed Gilles Simon.

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Agnieszka Radwanska benefited from an unfortunate code violation and a severely cramping opponent in Anna-Lena Friedsam to advance to the quarter-finals of the 2016 Australian Open.

Friedsam, ranked 82 in the world, came out all guns blazing against the 4th seeded Pole and nicked the opening set 8-6 in a tiebreak. Radwanska upped her game in the second set to take it 6-1, but the match was evenly poised going deep into the third when cramps got the better of the young German, leaving her barely able to move and in tears.

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It was the quarter-final match-up that stood out when the women's draw was made a week back, and top seed Serena Williams and former champion Maria Sharapova have each lived up to their end of the bargain, cementing their spot in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

In a rematch of last year's final, won by defending champion Serena Williams, the American blasé as ever declared after her fourth round triumph today that she had no idea who her quarter-final opponent might be as she just doesn't look that far ahead into the draw when it is made.

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