Rafael Nadal meets Roger Federer in Australian Open semi-final
Roger Federer will play Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Australian Open after they recorded very different victories in the last eight.
Switzerland's Federer needed just under two hours to complete an imperious 6-4 6-3 6-2 win over Juan Martin Del Potro.
Nadal's 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych was an attritional affair, lasting four hours 16 minutes.
Number seven seed Berdych squandered a set point for a 2-0 lead and Spaniard Nadal capitalised to take the match.
"Tired," was Nadal's reaction after the conclusion of the match. "But hopefully I am fine.
"The second set was key for me and I resisted well in the third and fourth sets after four hours of intense battle and I am happy how I finished physically."
Czech Berdych, who had lost his last nine matches against Nadal, looked poised to take the first set when he had three break points in the 12th game but he hit a forehand into the net to give his opponent hope.
Second seed Nadal then produced a series of brilliant shots on the run to close out a 29-shot rally before taking the game to deuce with a booming serve and the set into a tie-break.
Berdych had to keep his composure in the tie-break, as Nadal queried the umpire's decision not to allow him to challenge a line call, and the Czech sealed the set with an ace.
The number two seed reacted to losing his first set of the tournament by breaking Berdych in game four of the second set to open a 3-1 lead.
But Berdych broke back in game nine and won three straight games to level at 5-5.
He then saved a set point in his next service game before engineering one of his own in the tie-break but pushed a volley into the tramlines.
A further error proved more costly as Berdych hit a shot beyond the baseline to gift Nadal the second set.
The momentum swung back and forth in an intriguing third set.
Berdych held his first service game before breaking Nadal in the next to open a 2-0 lead.
But the world number two hit back with a double break to take a 4-2 lead before serving out the set.
Berdych double-faulted in his first service game of the fourth set to gift Nadal two break points and the former world number one took advantage with a forehand pass down the line.
He then held his serve throughout the set before wrapping up victory to love on Berdych's serve.
Federer endured no such dramas in his quarter-final, breaking Del Potro early in all three sets to maintain his record of not losing a set in Melbourne.
"I thought it was a great match," said the 16-time Grand Slam champion after a fitting conclusion to his 1,000th match.
"I'm happy. It was tough with the sun and shade creeping across the court. Del Potro is a quality player and I was able to manoeuvre the ball around the court. I hope I can keep it up."
Federer, competing in his 31st straight Grand Slam quarter-final, had little trouble in disposing of the Argentine in their first meeting in a major tournament since Del Potro's victory in the final of the US Open in 2009.
The Swiss had a slight wobble in the second set, surviving four break points, before resuming his dominance to break in the opening game of the third set and bringing the match to a conclusion with a sumptuous backhand winner.