Roger Federer advances to semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Defending champion Roger Federer advanced to the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over Stanislas Wawrinka on Tuesday in a mismatch that had the intensity of a practice session.

Federer, aiming to become the first man to win five Australian titles, was playing in his record-tying 27th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal. He is into his eighth consecutive semifinal at Melbourne Park.

No. 19 Wawrinka was playing at this stage for only the second time at a major and struggled against Federer in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a Grand Slam. He had only beaten Federer once in their seven previous matches.

Federer and Wawrinka combined to win the Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal for Switzerland and have been Davis Cup teammates. So meeting on such a big stage had challenges for both men.

"I play Stan obviously very different to what [Andy] Roddick or [Gael] Monfils or what other players might do against him. Clearly it's not an easy match for him also," Federer said. "I've been in so many quarterfinals, in this situation so many times before, that I have the experience and I have the game to, you know, be tricky for him.

"The scoreline suggests maybe it was easier than it looked like. I thought it was a pretty tough match," he said.

Wawrinka had only one look at a break chance against the 16-time Grand Slam winner, in the sixth game of the second set, and lost three straight points to let Federer off the hook.

Federer cashed in on five of his seven break opportunities.

Wawrinka received a code violation for smashing his racket into the ground, shattering the frame, after falling behind 2-0 in the third. His intensity picked up, but it was too late.

In the semifinals, Federer will meet 2008 champion and No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic, who overpowered Tomas Berdych 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-1 in a night match at Rod Laver Arena.

"I was tying to change the pace, put him out of the comfort zone," Djokovic said. "When he is in his comfort zone, he is a very difficult player, hits very strong, he has powerful strokes, powerful serve. So I needed to put some variety in the game."

He's liking his chances in the semifinals.

"If I continue playing like this, I think I have a good chance," Djokovic said. "But in the next match I have Federer. We all know he is the best player ever, so we all know it is going to be tough."

Still in the realm of probability for the defending champion is a final against Rafael Nadal and a chance to prevent the Spanish left-hander from winning his fourth consecutive Grand Slam. No man has held all four major titles since Rod Laver in 1969.

Nadal plays fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in one quarterfinal Wednesday, while Andy Murray takes on Alexandr Dolgopolov in the other.

Federer is not looking ahead to Nadal just yet.

"It's normal to follow Rafa in a big way because he's going for something particularly very special," Federer said. "My focus is not playing him in the finals quite yet. He still has to win a few matches against really tough players ahead of him. I got my hands full ... I'm not quite there."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.