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Federer, a tranquil victor, triumphs to meet Hewitt
Updated: 2005-09-09 10:55

NEW YORK (AP) _ Roger Federer sure knows how to kill a party.

Federer's quiet brilliance tranquilized U.S. Open fans one night after they roared nonstop for Andre Agassi and James Blake.

Watching Federer, the defending champion and top seed, roll past Argentine David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 Thursday night was like watching a rerun of a mediocre movie that has one star, no plot and no drama.

Federer was too good _ too strong with his serves, too quick with his returns, too sharp on his groundstrokes and volleys _ to let the match become anything more than a predictable step into the semifinals against Lleyton Hewitt, a winner earlier in the day in five sets against Finland's Jarkko Nieminen.

Federer beat Hewitt in the Open final last year and has won their last eight matches, four in Grand Slam events, going back to the 2004 Australian Open.

"Maybe we had enough men's tennis over the last few days," said Federer, the only semifinalist who did not play five sets in the quarters.

Federer didn't shy away from saying that he couldn't play much better than he did against the 11th-seeded Nalbandian in a 1-hour, 40-minute sweep.

"I played great last year and it's just looking great again," Federer said. "It's exactly the way I should be playing at this stage of tournament because the opponents are only getting tougher. The result really shows it. I've been struggling a little bit over the last few days, but this is a great rhythm I got against David. I'm surprised it went so quick."

So was Nalbandian.
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