Roger Federer advanced to the Australian Open semifinals for the ninth consecutive year with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 disposal of Juan Martin del Potro, one of only two men who’ve beaten him in a Grand Slam final.

After celebrating his 1,000th tour-level match with an emphatic win on Tuesday over the 2009 U.S. Open champion, Federer might have to beat the other one No. 2 Rafael Nadal to reach the final.

The win over Del Potro, sealed with a trademark backhand winner, set up the prospect of a semifinal against Nadal, who was playing No. 7-ranked Tomas Berdych in a night quarterfinal.

Federer and Nadal are on the same half of the draw at a major for the first time since 2005, and defending champion Novak Djokovic is on the other side.

“I’m very happy. It was a great match,” said Federer, who has won four of his 16 majors on Rod Laver Arena. “It was a high quality match and Juan Martin is a wonderful player and I know how hard he can hit the ball.”

He planned to watch the Nadal-Berdych match on TV, “even though I know both players very well.” “There’s no secrets out there, but I’ll still enjoy it. I love good tennis.”

Keywords: Australian Open

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