The third-ranked Swiss had maintained a low profile in the run-up to his first tournament of the sesaon, which he started after a first-round bye.

Roger Federer The 34-year-old won his first match under the supervision of new coach Ivan Ljubicic, a former rival on the ATP.

Federer improved to 8-1 at Brisbane and next faces unseeded Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Viktor Troicki 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 to book his last-eight spot.

Canadian fourth seed Milos Raonic, losing finalist to Federer a year ago, was treated for injury during a 17-ace defeat of Ivan Dodig 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-4.

Raonic next takes on Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who upset Belgian sixth seed David Goffin 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3.

Federer was untouchable in his rout of Kamke, which took less than an hour and ended as the seed fired a punishing backhand cross-court winner.

“It’s a great feeling with memories from last year,” Federer said after winning the 1,000 match of his career a year ago at the event in the 2015 final. “I’m happy to be back, I didn’t expect to play so well today.”

Federer was also pleased to start this coaching relationship with Ljubicic on a solid note.

“Everyone needs goals on court, for me it’s got to be tournament wins. And achieving records along the way is great, it inspires you,” he said.

“We are focussed on the Australian summer right now and then we will see what is next.

“It will be tough to play Grigor, who is trying to get back to the top 10. But if I play like I did tonight, I hope I can do well.”

In women’s play, Victoria Azarenka will Friday step into the unknown as she plays American qualifier Samantha Crawford after the pair reached the semi-finals in Queensland.

Azarenka, a former number one and two-time Australian Open champion, defeated US Open finalist Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-1, 6-2. The 22nd-ranked Belarus player has had two disaster seasons due to a foot injury and had been grinding her way back on the WTA.

“I’m pretty pleased, I was focussed from the beginning,” Azarenka said. “I knew Vinci would not be giving anything away. I had to take control in my own hands. I stayed strong and fought through a tough match.”

Crawford, ranked 142nd, could not believe her achievement after defeating former finalist Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-3, 6-0, making the 20-year-old the first qualifier to reach the Brisbane women’s semis.

“I’m starting to shake, it’s not sunk in yet,” a nervous Crawford said after pulling off the upset. “I’ve gone through some tough matches.

“I was just happy to be playing in another one, I tried to stay calm, be patient and go for my shots,” the former US Open junior champion added.

The second semi-final will be staged between German fourth seed Angelique Kerber and Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

Kerber easily went past Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-4 while sixth seed Suárez Navarro had to work for her win against Varvara Lepchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Source: GNA


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