Just as expectations foretold, No. 2 seed Roger Federer and No. 3 seed Andy Murray will meet in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Friday after each advanced past their quarterfinals competition on Wednesday.
Of the two, Federer had the toughest time reaching this point.
The four-time Australian Open champion was tested for three hours and 34 minutes by No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on Wednesday in a match that he finally won 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3. Tsonga hung with Federer in nearly every statistical category and even recorded 20 aces to just six by the Swiss favorite. Yet, it wasn't enough in the end, as Federer had control from the onset and did just enough to scoot into the semifinals.
Murray, in much easier fashion, defeated another French player by knocking off Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
Murray holds a slim 10-9 lead in the overall series with Federer, but Federer is eyeing his 18th Grand Slam title and has won all three Grand Slam finals matches against the Scottish-born Murray.
All that's good-and-well, but Murray has changed his game around of late. Federer said that Murray has gotten more defensive in his approach, and Chardy said after his defeat that Murray's calmness has changed the dynamics of his game, according to The Associated Press.
''I've played him several times, and every time I always thought I had a chance,'' said Chardy, who beat Murray in August in Cincinnati. ''Today, he never let me think even once I had a chance to win.
The winner of the match between Murray and Federer will face the victor in a match between No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed David Ferrer. That duo will square off on Thursday.