Federer into eighth straight Open semi

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Melbourne, Jan 25 (AFP) Roger Federer cruised into hiseighth consecutive Australian Open semi-final with adominating straight-sets victory over his Swiss teammateStanislas Wawrinka on Tuesday.

It was a no-contest as the all-time Grand Slam championcantered to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win against the over-awed Wawrinkain just 1hr 47 min on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer will now take on either 2008 champion NovakDjokovic or Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in Thursday''ssemi-final.

Tuesday''s success extended Federer''s winning streak to 15and a record 59th match win at the Australian Open.

"I definitely needed a good performance and I''veobviously played Stan many times in practice and in matchesand there were no real secrets out there for either of us,"Federer said.

"I think the start was really crucial. It may have been abattle for him to get used to the conditions after playing twosuch great matches at night.

"I am very happy with the way I played, I was able to mixit up and that''s how I play my best usually."

The pair won the men''s doubles gold medal for Switzerlandat the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

From the outset, Federer was never going to lose and hebroke Wawrinka''s serve five times and won a high 72 percent ofhis first serves and 76 percent of his second serves.

The 16-time major champion hit 29 winners and dominatedthe match points 90-66.

Federer broke the misfiring Wawrinka twice in taking theopening set which lasted just 29 minutes.

Wawrinka had two break points in the sixth game of thesecond set but badly missed the next three points to pass upthe chance, and then with his confidence down easily gave uphis service to hand Federer a break.

Wawrinka, clearly lacking the belief that he could beathis Swiss Davis Cup teammate, surrendered the set with hisfourth service break with a bad backhand miss.

He was given a code violation for racquet abuse when heangrily slammed his racquet into the court as he gave upanother service break early in the third set.

Wawrinka was a shadow of the player who ripped apart AndyRoddick in straight sets in Sunday''s night match, mis-hittinghis groundstrokes and failing to put any pressure on Federer.

Wawrinka found the faster day-time conditions not to hisliking after winning both his previous two matches in theheavier, cooler night atmospherics.

In contrast with when he was on the foot front againstRoddick, he was pushed behind the baseline in rallies withFederer. (AFP) AT

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