Swiss great Roger Federer steamrolled his way into the semi-finals of the Brisbane International with a 39-minute demolition of Australian wildcard James Duckworth on Friday.
Federer barely raised a sweat as he won 6-0, 6-1, a total transformation from the player almost eliminated by unknown Australian John Millman on Thursday night.
He raced through the first set in just 16 minutes and the second in 23, with Duckworth not getting on the board until the third game of the second set.
Federer hit 24 clean winners past Duckworth, who couldn’t manage any against the 17-time Grand Slam winner as he endured a miserable evening at Pat Rafter Arena.
The world number two won 90 percent of his first serves and fired down 12 aces to demolish Duckworth, ranked 123 places below him.
“I was very happy the way I played. I played aggressive, served well, and then especially on the return I kept the pressure on time and time again,” Federer said.
“Next thing you know, it was like I was running away with the score. Then he got into a situation which then clearly is very difficult at six-love, two-love.
“You’re playing against the score and not to get back into the match anymore almost, it’s very frustrating to be in that situation.
“I took advantage of it, and I’m happy I had a match like this after yesterday.”
Federer will now play fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals following the Bulgarian’s solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Slovakian Martin Klizan.
Second seed Kei Nishikori underlined how far he has progressed over the past 12 months with a 58-minute win over Australian hope Bernard Tomic.
Nishikori, who finished 2014 as world number five, raced through the first set in only 21 minutes.
Tomic recovered and put up a fight in the second, but Nishikori broke at 4-4 then comfortably held serve to book his place in the semi-finals.
“I took the first couple of games really well, returned well,” Nishikori said.
“At the same time I was aggressive with the return and serve.
“It looked like he kind of gave up the last couple of games (of the first set), but he started to play a little better serve (in the second).
“I was getting a little bit tight and made a couple of easy mistakes, but overall I don’t think he had any break points on my serve.”
Nishikori will take on Canada’s Milos Raonic for a place in Sunday’s final.
Third-seeded Raonic won the battle of the big servers when he downed Australian Sam Groth 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).
Groth outserved Raonic, with 22 aces to 15, and won more points overall, 99 to 95, but the Canadian was steadier in the two tiebreaks to clinch victory in two hours.
“I think he played better than I did,” Raonic conceded.
“I sort of got through with experience and sort of just grit in that match.”