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 Australia in a mismatch that had all the intensity of a practice session.
Caroline Wozniacki had a tougher assignment, rallying from a set and a break down to beat Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and secure her spot in the semifinals – and at the top of the rankings.
Schiavone dominated the opening set and a half before the effects of her previous match kicked in. She beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in a three-set match lasting 4 hours, 44 minutes, a record for a women’s Grand Slam singles match.
Wozniacki will face Li Na, who beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4 to reach the Australian Open semifinals for the second straight year.
The No. 9-seeded Li broke her German rival’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the second, recovering an early break in each set and playing more consistently than Petkovic.
Li lost the 2010 semifinal in two tiebreak sets to eventual champion Serena Williams.
“It’s good for me – second time in a Grand Slam semifinal always in Australian Open,” Li said. “Hopefully, I can do better in this year. I don’t want to lose in semis again.”
The 28-year-old Li was the only quarterfinalist from the last Australian Open to reach the last eight this year.
Rafael Nadal is on a 25-match winning streak in Grand Slam tournaments and is focusing on his “Rafa Slam” right now. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round on Monday.
Nadal already holds the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns and is three wins from an Australian title.
Nadal next plays fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who fended off big-serving 20-year-old Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.