Australian Open 2013: Federer Survives Scare to Book Semi-Final Date with Murray
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | January 24, 2013 12:05 AM EST
Second seed Roger Federer is through to the semi-finals of the 2013 Australian Open, after a gruelling five-set win over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga . The Swiss ace, a former world No 1 and a four-time winner of the Melbourne tournament, beat Tsonga 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted three hours and 34 minutes.
Federer will now play third seed Andy Murray in the semi-final on Friday. The match will be the 20th time Britain's No 1 faces off against the Swiss, with Murray leading 10-9. However, the Scot will have to contend with the fact he has never beaten Federer in a Grand Slam tournament - they've played each other thrice (2008 US Open, 2010 Australian Open and 2012 Wimbledon) - with Federer winning all three.
Federer and Murray played each other five times through last year, with the most notable matches being the finals of Wimbledon and the men's singles event at the London Olympics 2012. The Swiss master orchestrated a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Murray at Wimbledon but the latter fought back mere weeks later, taking the gold medal, at the same venue, in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, world No 1 and top seed Novak Djokovic is set to play fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain in the first semi-final, to be played in the second session on Thursday, on the Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic is the defending champion and a three-time winner of the Australian Open.
In the women's singles event, world No 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will play 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens  of the US in the first semi-final. Former world No 1, Maria Sharapova  of Russia, will face off against the 2011 French Open champion, Na Li of China, in the second.
Both matches are scheduled for Thursday, on the Rod Laver Arena.
Top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the US will face unseeded Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the first semi-final (the first match on Thursday, on the Rod Laver Arena). And third seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain will face the unseeded Dutch pair of Robin Hasse and Igor Sijsling in the second semi-final, on the Margaret Court Arena.
World No 1 Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy breezed past fourth seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia in their semi-final and will face either Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua of Australia or the American-Chinese pair of Varvara Lepchenko and Saisai Zheng.
Third seeds Sania Mirza of India and Bob Bryan of the US, the highest-ranked pair left in the competition, will face Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak in a quarter-final match, with the winning pair advancing to face unseeded Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.
Fifth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Nadia Petrova of Russia will face the Australian pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden in their quarter-final, with a tie against Yaroslava Shvedova of Russia and Denis Istomin of Uzebekistan at stake.
Check out this IBTimes UK report for information on where and how to watch the semi-finals of the 2013 Australian Open.
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