Roger Federer flattened his close buddy Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 to move menacingly into the Australian Open semifinals on Tuesday, showing scant regard for sentimentality.
Defending champion Federer, the Melbourne second seed, brought a ruthlessly swift end to the first Grand Slam quarterfinal contested by two Swiss men in an hour and 47 minutes.
“I prefer to play aggressive,” Federer said later. “I think at crucial times it haunted me playing a bit passive instead of trying to take it to the opponent a bit more. With success sometimes you get a bit comfortable. Because it’s working, why change it?”
In the other quarterfinal match, a chest-thumping Novak Djokovic blasted his way past Czech Tomas Berdych 6-1 7-6 6-1 in a heavyweight clash to set up a semi-final date with Federer. The Serb third seed, Melbourne champion in 2008, caught fire early, tearing through a one-sided first set in just 36 minutes under floodlights at Rod Laver Arena.
Sixth seed Berdych dug deep to force a tiebreak in the second but a wild forehand from last year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist gifted it to Djokovic 7-5, and with it a two-set lead.
Djokovic quickly went for the jugular in the third, securing a double-break for 5-1 with a drilled forehand return and finishing off Berdych with a big serve down the middle after two hours and 32 minutes.
Women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki kept a tenuous grip on her No. 1 ranking as she preyed on the French Open winner Francesca Schiavone for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 trip to the semi-finals. China’s Li Na also powered into her 2nd straight Oz Open semis after beating Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4.