Roger Federer looked in ominous form as he reached his 18th grand slam final at the Australian Open today.
The world number two was too good for American Andy Roddick, taking just two hours 17 minutes to defeat the seventh seed 6-2 7-5 7-5 and book a place in the final against either Rafael Nadal or Fernando Verdasco, who play tomorrow.
Roddick has only ever beaten Federer in two of their previous 17 meetings - the most recent success coming in Miami last year.
But the seventh seed never looked like repeating that in a match played with the Rod Laver Arena roof open following a drop in temperature which brought to an end the extreme heat policy procedures.
A hustling Roddick tried everything from drop shots to bullet-like serves to find a way through the Federer armoury.
And although there were times when the three-time Australian Open champion could only stand and watch the aces go by or send a drop shot return into the net, he largely had an answer for everything the American could send his way.
Federer punched a few aces down himself - double the number of Roddick with 16 - and some of his passing shots were sublime.
In general, his choice of shot and execution far exceeded that of the American who hit 38 winners compared to 51 by the Swiss star.
The second seed took the lead for the first time in the third game of the opening set when he reached a well-placed volley by Roddick and fired a down the line winner back past his unbelieving opponent.
Roddick had a break-point opportunity in the next game but failed to take it and he was made to pay dearly for that in the fifth when Federer broke him again then comfortably held serve for a 5-1 lead.
Federer found the net a couple of times in the next game to help Roddick hold his serve, although the American was clearly disgruntled by a line call and subsequent challenge and made his frustrations known to the chair umpire Enric Molina at the change of ends.
It did not stop Federer taking the first set, however. But the Swiss player, chasing a record-equalling 14th grand slam title, had a few nervy moments as he held off two break points before a wide reply by Roddick handed him the game and the set.
The second set was far closer with break point chances few and far between.
But just when it appeared to be heading for a tie-break, Roddick was broken in the 11th game when he had a failed attempt at a volley then Federer hit a blistering winner down the line after looking seemingly out of the point, before the American found the net again.
Federer then held his serve to love to wrap up the second set.
It was almost an exact repeat in the third set, although Federer did have the chance to break clear in the fifth game.
Roddick was given a code violation for swearing but he produced an audacious sliced backhand to help him on his way to holding his serve.
The break eventually came in the 11th game and Federer served for the match which he sealed with a down the line winner.