Defending champion Novak Djokovic is braced for another epic tussle with former world No1 Roger Federer after both men swept into the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Djokovic put an error-strewn fourth-round match behind him with a ruthless display against Kei Nishikori, beating the Japanese seventh seed 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Federer was almost as emphatic in despatching Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4 to set up the latest instalment of an enduring rivalry with Djokovic on Thursday morning.
Both men have 22 wins apiece as they prepare for their 45th meeting, although the Serb has won five of the last seven and the last two of their three previous clashes in Melbourne.
“It’s always a big challenge,” said Djokovic. “We keep playing each other in nearly every big tournament. He is a great champion and someone I have a lot of respect for. It will be a great match.”
Women’s champion Serena Williams continued her utter domination of Maria Sharapova, beating the fifth seed for the 18th consecutive time to march into the women’s last four.
Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday after the Polish fourth seed thrashed Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3.
Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazilian Bruno Soares progressed to the men’s doubles semi-finals after the seventh seeds beat South Africa-American duo Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram in three sets.