Roger Federer booked his place in the semi-finals of the 2016 Brisbane International on Friday with a tough last-eight victory over Grigor Dimitrov.
Angelique Kerber claimed her place in the women's final with an impressive win over Carla Suarez Navarro, and she will face Victoria Azarenka after the Belarusian beat Samantha Crawford with relative ease.
Men's second seed Kei Nishikori was knocked out by Australia's Bernard Tomic in the last eight, while Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem complete the semi-final lineup after their Friday victories.
Here are all of the results from Friday, the latest schedule and a roundup of the day's action:
|Quarter-final||(7) Bernard Tomic bt. (2) Kei Nishikori||6-3, 1-6, 6-3|
|Quarter-final||(4) Milos Raonic bt. Lucas Pouille||6-4, 6-4|
|Quarter-final||(8) Dominic Thiem bt. (3) Marin Cilic||2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4|
|Quarter-final||(1) Roger Federer bt. Grigor Dimitrov||6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4|
|Semi-final||(4) Angelique Kerber bt. (6) Carla Suarez Navarro||6-2, 6-3|
|Semi-final||Victoria Azarenka bt. Samantha Crawford||6-0, 6-3|
Full draw and schedule available at Brisbane International website.
Federer looked impressive from the off, not losing a point on his serve in the first three games. Dimitrov managed to stay in touch, but the Swiss legend claimed the vital break at 4-4 and served out for the first set.
Dimitrov responded in terrific fashion, increasing his first-serve percentage and pressuring Federer until he broke him for 4-3.
At 5-3 down, almost inevitably, Federer won three games in a row, and the second set eventually went to a tiebreak.
The Bulgarian took an emphatic 5-1 lead, and although Federer attempted to engineer a comeback, Dimitrov eventually served out the set with aplomb, which was a unique event, per tennis writer Chris Goldsmith:
ATP Breaking News: Grigor Dimitrov has finally won a set against Roger Federer— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) January 8, 2016
The third set started in cagey fashion, with neither player giving an inch on his serve. But Federer claimed the key break at 2-2 and saw out the victory to take his place in the Brisbane semi-finals.
Eighth seed Thiem knocked out third seed Marin Cilic in three sets to book his own semi-final spot, and he will now face up to Federer as he attempts to make the final.
The Austrian lost the first set on Friday but forced a decider with a battling tiebreak victory in the second. He then claimed the necessary single break to pull off a slight shock in just under two hours.
Tomic endured a similarly lengthy encounter to beat Japan's Nishikori. The Aussie produced some quality serving to take the first set before Nishikori responded brilliantly in a lopsided second.
The 23-year-old then reclaimed the momentum, as he broke for 2-0 and 3-1 in the decider and saw out an excellent victory in front of a home crowd to his great delight, per Brisbane International:
Raonic claimed the most routine win of the men's quarter-finals, as he saw off France's Lucas Pouille in 76 minutes.
The Canadian served brilliantly, barely allowing Pouille any opportunities to claim any momentum. He grabbed the necessary early break to take a hold in the match and never let go.
It was a similarly impressive performance from Kerber in her semi-final, as she was barely troubled and prevailed over sixth seed Suarez Navarro in 75 minutes.
Despite a first-serve percentage of just 40 in the opening set, Kerber did not concede a single break point and claimed a double break of her own to take the advantage, per WTA.
A similarly clinical performance in the second set, peppered with numerous forehand winners, saw her advance to the final, and the German is in a terrific position to triumph in this year's tournament.
However, she faces stiff competition from an in-form Azarenka, who gave away only three games as she saw off American youngster Crawford.
The former world No. 1 took the game to her inexperienced opponent, not giving away a game in the opening set, per WTA Insider:
Azarenka takes the 1st 60 in 24m. Crawford just can’t get her feet moving, getting caught on everything off the ground. Nerves will do that.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 8, 2016
Crawford managed to get a few games under her belt in the second and broke at 5-2 as Azarenka served for the match, but the 26-year-old's quality saw her through as she closed out the match with an immediate break back.