Federer eases past Wawrinka into semi-finals

In modern tennis terms he is approaching veteran status but there is no sign that Roger Federer has any intention of slowing down.

At 29 years and five months he is the oldest man left in the men’s draw here at the Australian Open and he will be the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title for eight years if he successfully defends his crown in Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

The latest player to learn that Federer has no plans to reach for his pipe and slippers quite yet was his friend and fellow Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka, who had not dropped a set in his first four rounds here and was unbeaten this year. The world No 19 went into their quarter-final meeting here today with one win over the world No 2 under his belt – even if it had been achieved while Federer was on his honeymoon in Monte-Carlo two years ago – but from the moment he dropped serve in his opening game a repeat never looked on the cards.

Federer needed only an hour and 47 minutes to beat his Davis Cup colleague 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in his 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, which equalled the record set by Jimmy Connors. Wawrinka played well below his best and Federer’s post-match verdict - “The scoreline suggests maybe it was easier than it looked like - I thought it was a pretty tough match” – sounded like an attempt to cover up for his friend’s disappointing display. In the semi-finals Federer will meet the winner of today’s later match between Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.

Putting 77 per cent of his first serves in court, Federer gave Wawrinka only one sniff of a break, midway through the second set. The defending champion promptly won three points in a row to take the game and Wawrinka never threatened again. Federer had seven break points of his own and took five of them.

Early in the third set a frustrated Wawrinka was given a code violation after smashing his racket to the floor, shattering the frame. Even his backhand, which is usually his biggest weapon, let him down. The last two points summed up his day as he missed two successive cross-court backhands.

It was the first Grand Slam quarter-final contested by two Swiss men. Federer and Wawrinka have played doubles for their country in the Davis Cup and won Olympic gold together in Beijing three years ago, after which they performed one of the more bizarre sporting celebrations. As Wawrinka lay on the floor, Federer pretended to warm his hands as if over a log fire, indicating how hot his partner’s form had been.

Wawrinka has enjoyed one of the best periods of his career over the last six months. He reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at last year’s US Open, where he knocked out Andy Murray, and went into today’s contest on a nine-match winning streak, having won the tournament in Chennai on his way to Australia.

Nevertheless, anything Wawrinka can do his more celebrated fellow countryman can do better. Federer is now unbeaten in his last 15 matches, having followed up his victory at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November by winning his first tournament of the year in Doha. The last time he won the Qatar Open, in 2006, Federer went on to life the title here.

“I think it was a good match for me,” Federer said after today’s win. “I was able to serve and return really well. Last time I played him he was really able to get the free points he was also getting in his matches [here] against Monfils and against Roddick. I expected him to serve even bigger today because the ball travels faster through the air. For some reason I was able to return well against him. On my own service games I was really good too. I think that really set the tone for a good match for me.”

Federer acknowledged that the match would have been a big challenge for Wawrinka. “I've been in so many quarter-finals, in this situation so many times before, that I have the experience and I have the game to be tricky for him,” he said. “Once the first set goes quickly then he's a bit under pressure there. He actually played a good second set. He had the first chance to make the break. Then he doesn't make it. The next thing you know, I get it. It's two sets to love. It wasn't an easy match for him.”

Wawrinka's verdict was succinct: "He was just playing too good."

News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn