Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Federer Set for a Final Fling with Nemesis Nalbandian

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Federer Set for a Final Fling with Nemesis Nalbandian

Article excerpt

DAVID NALBANDIAN is fast shaping up as the biggest challenger to world No1 Roger Federer at Melbourne Park.

Nalbandian, who is the highest-remaining seed in the opposite half of the draw, booked his semi-final place today by crushing Fabrice Santoro 7-5, 6-0, 6-0.

The Argentinian has a winning record against Federer and won their most recent encounter - at the final of the Masters Cup in Shanghai at the end of last year.

However, the tournament's fourth seed will have to get past either Croat Ivan Ljubicic or Marcos Baghdatis, of Cyprus, before a potential confrontation with the top seed.

"I didn't spend a lot of time on court today, so I am happy for that," Nalbandian said after his ruthless quarterfinal performance.

"I am happy because I play very good. Every round is better and better."

Nalbandian, a powerful baseliner, was far too strong for Santoro, even though the unseeded Frenchman was the first to break serve. But Nalbandian immediately hit back and when he broke again to take the first set, his opponent's resistance disappeared. …

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