Former world No.1 Roger Federer has overpowered Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-1 6-1 to reach the Brisbane International semi-finals on Friday night.
World No.61 Matosevic had the 17-time grand slam winner in trouble early when he held three break points in the opening game.
However, 32-year-old Federer was never threatened again as he cruised to victory in just 57 minutes and booked a semi-final showdown with eighth seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Saturday.
The loss was another blow for the local contingent which had hoped to celebrate Australia Day early on Friday.
Matosevic was one of three Australians who contested a men’s quarter-final in Brisbane on Friday – the first time it had occurred at an ATP Tour event in 10 years.
However, Lleyton Hewitt was the last Australian standing in Brisbane after proving too good for Romanian qualifier Marius Copil, racing to a 6-4 6-2 quarter-final win in an hour and 11 minutes on Friday.
Apart from Matosevic, Victorian Sam Groth fell 7-5 6-4 to Chardy.
Hewitt will meet second seed Kei Nishikori on Saturday after the world No.17 outlasted Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-4 5-7 6-2 in a quarter-final that lasted more than two and a half hours in Brisbane’s sweltering afternoon heat.
Federer has slumped to world No.6 after a horror 2013 in which he failed to make a grand slam final for the first time since 2002.
However, Federer is backing himself to have a tilt at a fifth Australian Open crown after a rare, untroubled off-season and adding tennis great Stefan Edberg to his coaching staff for 2014.