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Federer humbles Agassi
Updated: 2005-01-26 09:04

Defending champion Roger Federer has humbled four-times winner Andre Agassi 6-3 6-4 6-4 to keep his stunning grand slam record intact and reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The Swiss world number one triumphed in a surprisingly one-sided match on Rod Laver Arena in 99 minutes on Tuesday after dominating the American with his impenetrable serve and winning virtually every key point in a nerveless performance.

Andre Agassi of the US wipes his face during a break against top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland in their men's singles quarter-final match at the 2005 Australian Open in Melbourne. Agassi admitted he had been completely outplayed.[AFP]

Eighth seed Agassi was not far from his best but Federer was able to grab one service break in each of the three sets and successfully fought off the few challenges the 34-year-old American was able to mount.

Federer won three of the four grand slams last year and is bidding to become the first man since Pete Sampras in 1993/1994 to win three consecutive grand slam events.

The 23-year-old will play fourth seed Marat Safin of Russia in the semi-finals in a repeat of last year's final here. Safin earlier beat 20th seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia 6-2 6-4 6-2.

Federer beat Safin 7-6 6-4 6-2 to win the final on his fourth appearance in Melbourne in 2004 and is an almost unbackable favourite to retain his title. He is yet to drop a set in five rounds.

The win over Agassi means Federer now has a 24-0 record against top 10 players since October 2003 and is unbeaten in his last 26 matches stretching back to the August Olympics.


Federer was at his best from the outset, winning the first game of the match on his serve to love in barely a minute.

Roger Federer of Switzerland, top seed, waves to the crowd after his mens singles quarterfinal match against Andre Agassi of the US, eighth seed, on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 25, 2005. Federer won the match, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. [AP]
Agassi began more tentatively. Federer set up his first opportunity to break Agassi's serve in the sixth game with a stinging forehand service return for 15-40.

The American saved those two break points with strong serves and then another two before ceding Federer the break on his fifth chance with a double fault for the Swiss to lead 4-2.

Agassi got his first break opportunity in the ninth game when Federer pushed a backhand wide but Federer hit back with an ace to level the game.

The American got another two break opportunities, the first on a double fault, but Federer responded again with another of the 22 aces he hammered past Agassi in the match.

Federer finally served out the set on his fifth set point and quickly began the second set in the same fashion.

He broke Agassi's serve for a second time in the first game as he mixed up baseline rallies with net attacks.

Agassi had the chance to get back on serve when he whipped a return past Federer for break point in the fourth game but Federer responded by slamming another service winner and went on to hold serve for 3-1 lead.

An exasperated Agassi quickly found himself down 0-40 at the start of the third set and then pushed a backhand out to hand Federer his third service break of the match.

Federer's serve kept him out of trouble for the rest of the match and he produced another big one on the final point, with Agassi netting his attempted backhand return.

Agassi was playing in his 35th quarter-final in 57 grand slam tournaments. He won in Melbourne at his first attempt in 1995 and again in 2000/01 and 2003 and had never been beaten the previous six times he reached the final eight.

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