There were very few surprises on Day 9 at the 2013 Australian Open, as three of the top four seeds won their quarterfinal match, setting up some intriguing semifinal showdowns scheduled later this week.
On the men's side, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer are moving on, and they will square off in the semis for the second straight time at a Grand Slam event. Djokovic got the better of Ferrer at the U.S. Open last September.
Meanwhile, in the women's draw, Maria Sharapova and Li Na will play on after cruising to dominant straight-set victories on Day 9. That semifinal will be a rematch of last October's WTA Tour China Open semifinal, which Sharapova won easily.
With Day 9 in the books, it's time we recap and get you caught up on all the latest happenings from this year's Australian Open.
Djokovic Gets by Berdych, Returns to Semis
Men's No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic looked sharp on Day 9, winning 78 percent of his first-serve points, committing just 25 unforced errors and connecting on 47 winners in his quarterfinal win over fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych; 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Nole needed only two-and-a-half hours to advance this time around, two days after playing a five-set, five-hour match against Stanislas Wawrinka in the Round of 16.
Berdych struggled to break Djokovic's serve, doing so just once in the second set, the only set the Czech player would win. The second set would last nearly an hour, the longest of the match.
Djokovic's impressive victory was highlighted by his versatility. He hit 21 of his 36 rally winners with the forehand, but he managed to record 15 winners on his backhand, giving Ferrer one more thing to think about before their upcoming semifinal showdown.
Sharapova Rolls Past Fellow Countrywoman
It seems anything that Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams can do, second-seeded Maria Sharapova can do better. The Russian star crushed her fellow countrywoman on Day 9, topping 19th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Sharapova was brilliant on her first-serve points, winning 83 percent of them for the match. Plus, she had it going in the rally game, recording 13 forehand winners compared to Makarova's four.
The 2008 Australian Open champ has won all five of her matches Down Under and has yet to drop a single set in Melbourne this January. Even more impressive, Sharapova hasn't even lost more than four games in a single match.
Her next test will be sixth-seeded Li Na in the women's semifinals.
Ferrer Rallies to Reach Semis
David Ferrer looked to be going home sooner than expected after dropping the first two sets of his quarterfinal clash with fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on Day 9, but then he showed why he's the fourth-seeded man in Melbourne.
Ferrer rallied back on Tuesday, winning the last three sets against the 10th-seeded Almagro, including a pivotal tiebreaker in the fourth set that broke Almagro's will. Ferrer would go on take the fifth and final set in roughly 35 minutes.
Both players performed well on Tuesday, but while Almagro was hot to start, it was his countryman who caught fire late. Almagro was dominating during service games early and took advantage of his two break-point chances in the opening sets. But then Ferrer ratcheted up his serve and got some break points of his own.
While Tuesday's result will haunt Almagro until next year, it will provide Ferrer with tons of confidence heading into what's sure to be his most challenging match yet against Djokovic.
Li Knocks Off Radwanska in Straight Sets
Li Na has been a pleasant surprise at this year's Australian Open, and her run will continue after Day 9's quarterfinal win over fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
Li came out aggressive from the opening serve, and she seemed to have caught Radwanska off guard. The proof is in the numbers. Li committed nearly twice as many unforced errors as Radwanska, but because of that, she also tallied three times as many winners as the 23-year-old.
The 30-year-old Chinese star also recorded 12 backhand winners in rally situations.
Having come up short in the Australian Open final two years ago, Li will be inspired to get past the Goliath that is Maria Sharapova in their upcoming semifinal match.
Men's Quarterfinal Scores: Day 9
Novak Djokovic (1) defeated Tomas Berdych (5); 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
David Ferrer (4) defeated Nicolas Almagro (10); 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
Women's Quarterfinal Scores: Day 9
Maria Sharapova (2) defeated Ekaterina Makarova (19); 6-2, 6-2
Li Na (6) defeated Agnieszka Radwanska (4); 7-5, 6-3
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!