Australian Open quarter-finals:

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28 jan 2009, 12:33

Rafa Nadal is through to the semi-finals after beating Gilles Simon 6-2 7-5 7-5. The match was Rafa's toughest of the tournament so far against the sixth-seeded Frenchman who really gave him a test. Rafa was not at his best, making more unforced errors than in any of his matches in the previous rounds, but he upped his level when necessary to keep his perfect record of not having dropped a set.
Rafa will play fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the semis after Verdasco beat last year's runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 6-2. It was a tight match and although Tsonga played some great tennis at times, Verdasco was the more consistent.
In the other half of the draw, Roger Federer will play Andy Roddick. Federer beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-0 6-0 in a match which has caused many to question del Potro's mental strength, feeling that the Argentinian appeared to give up too easily after losing the first set. Federer however played brilliantly and demonstrated why a lot of people consider him favourite to win the Australian Open.
Andy Roddick reached the semi-finals after his opponent Novak Djokovic retired during their match with the score at 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 1-2 in Roddick's favour. The match was being played in the afternoon with temperatures around the 40 degrees C mark and Djokovic was struggling with cramps as well as the effects of tiredness as his previous match against Marcos Baghdatis had finished at around 2.30am Monday morning local time.
The full semi-final line-up is:

Rafael Nadal (Spain) v Fernando Verdasco (Spain) to be played Friday.

Andy Roddick (USA) v Roger Federer (Switzerland) to be played tomorrow (Thursday).
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