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Federer puts down Murray to book Nadal semi-final

Reuters

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer weathered a belated challenge from a gallant Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Wednesday to win 6-3 6-4 7-6(6) 6-3 and set up a mouthwatering semi-final with great rival Rafa Nadal.

Stingy on serve and dominant at the net, the 17-times grand slam champion wobbled when serving out for the match at 5-4 in the third set, with the Scot saving two match points in the tiebreak.

Federer dug deep to fend off the Scot in a final set of unrelenting tension, breaking Murray at 4-3 and sealing a classic contest with an ace.

Federer notched his 11th successive semi-final at Melbourne Park as he bids for a record 18th grand slam.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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