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Brisbane International Men's Semifinals

Brisbane Men’s Singles Semifinals Saturday Jan 10

1-Roger Federer beat 4-Grigor Dimitrov

3-Milos Raonic beat 2-Kei Nishikori  

Federer Tops Dimitov, Faces Raonic in Final

brisbaneinternational.com.au: January 10  2015 Brisbane, Australia – It was a case of the master handing the apprentice a lesson as top seed Roger Federer crushed Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 to move through to his second straight Brisbane International final.

 

He may be the old man of tennis but Federer is sending out a warning to his young rivals ahead of this month’s Australian Open. After taking just 41 minutes to beat Australia’s James Duckworth in Friday’s quarterfinal, Federer provided a similar demolition against world No.11 Dimitrov on Saturday, taking just 53 minutes to beat the young Bulgarian.

 

Only unheralded world No.153 John Millman has taken a set off the 17-time grand slam champion so far in the tournament. Since that 6-4 reverse in his opening set of the tournament, the 33-year-old has been imperious on his charge to the final.

 

The world No.2 will now face Canada’s Milos Raonic in the decider as he aims to add the Brisbane crown to his list of ATP Tour titles. Saturday’s win was Federer’s 999th in his ATP Tour career and he’ll be favourite to claim his 1000th career win on Sunday given he holds a 7-1 career record over Raonic.

 

World No.8 Raonic had a much tougher path into the final, overcoming Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a three-set struggle that went for two and a half hours and didn’t feature a single break of serve. The towering third seed sent down a whopping 34 aces to take his tally to 66 for the tournament in just three matches as he emerged with a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) victory.

 

Nishikori, who didn’t drop a game on his serve in the whole tournament, was eliminated for the third time in three years at the semifinals in Brisbane.

Brisbane International Women's Semifinals

Sharapova Sets Final Showdown vs Ivanovic

brisbaneinternational.com.au: January 9  2015 Brisbane, Australia – Maria Sharapova will face Ana Ivanovic in the women’s singles final of the Brisbane International after she cruised past Ukrainian starlet Elina Svitolina in Friday night’s semifinal.

 

The tournament’s top seed showed more great signs ahead of the Australian Open and was largely untroubled in the comprehensive 6-1 6-3 win at Pat Rafter Arena. Her blistering form will now receive a much sterner test in the form of Ivanovic, the second seed, who had to dig deep to get past American Vavara Lepchenko in the other semi earlier on Friday.

 

Sharapova also defeated Yaroslava Shvedova and Carla Suarez-Navarro in straight sets earlier in Brisbane and was clearly intent on continuing that ruthless streak against Svitolina. She drew first blood by breaking the Ukrainian second service game and then slammed her foot down on the accelerator, wrapping up the opener in 30 minutes.

 

The clean-striking Russian hit 17 winners to five in the first set and rarely put a foot wrong. Then again, neither did Svitolina – but there was little the 20-year-old could do to shake Sharapova in this kind of touch. A determined Svitolina staged a mini-resistance late on, saving four match points to secure back-to-back games and stretch out the second set to nearly an hour. But it only delayed the inevitable, with world number two Sharapova riding out her opponent’s purple patch to secure victory and set up a tantalising final on Saturday night.

 

Serbia’s  Ivanovic dug deep to book a final showdown with fellow former world No.1 Sharapova. Second seed Ivanovic finally overcame the United States’ Varvara Lepchenko to seal a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 semifinal win at Pat Rafter Arena on Friday, needing seven match points to get past the determined lefty. Ivanovic stumbled in the first set against a determined Lepchenko. The American, who shocked Sam Stosur in the first round, twice served for the opening set, only to be denied.

 

The former French Open champion then led 5-1 in the second before Lepchenko launched a comeback of her own. In the end, Ivanovic converted her seventh match point to finally overpower the world No.34 in a clash lasting almost two hours. She battled an abdominal twinge during the match but shrugged off any serious injury concerns post-match. She met Sharapova  four times for four losses in 2014 – the duo also played in the Australian Open final in 2008 where Sharapove triumphed in straight sets.

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