Ferrer survives huge Almagro scare to reach semis
Fourth seed David Ferrer stared defeat full in the face three times but battled back to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The 10th seed Almagro absolutely dominated one of the world's best baseline players from the back of the court to go two sets up but the fourth seed hit back when Almagro was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
Twice more Almagro had the chance to serve out for victory but he blew them both and Ferrer, who had won all 12 of their previous meetings, stormed back to clinch the victory with his first match point after a three hours and 44 minutes.
Ferrer will meet the winner of the quarter-final between World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who play the final singles match of the day on Rod Laver Arena.
Image: David Ferrer of Spain celebrate
Photographs: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images
Sharapova marches into semi-finals
Maria Sharapova continued her perfect run in Australian Open quarter-finals by swatting aside Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova on Tuesday.
Sharapova had not lost any of her previous five Australian Open quarter-final matches, a record she extended with ease against the 19th-seeded Makarova with a 6-2 6-2 victory. The pair had met in the same round last year at Melbourne Park.
The 24-year-old Makarova had beaten 11th seed Marion Bartoli and fifth seed Angelique Kerber to make the quarter-finals, but was unable to stop Sharapova's rampant march through the tournament.
Sharapova has dropped just nine games in total, the fewest number conceded by a semi-finalist at the tournament.
Monica Seles conceded just 12 games on her way to the 1991 semi-finals.
Sharapova, who won the Australian Open title in 2008, will now meet sixth seed Li Na in the semi-finals on Thursday after the Chinese upset fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3 earlier on Rod Laver Arena.
Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her quarter-final victory against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia on Tuesday
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Djokovic overcomes Berdych to storm into semis
Novak Djokovic showed no signs of any lasting fatigue to overcome Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday and advance to the Australian Open semi-finals.
The World No 1, bidding to become the first man to win three successive Australian Open titles since the game went professional, had been forced into a marathon five-set, five-hour fourth round clash against Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday.
Berdych had felt that energy sapping clash could give him an opportunity to secure his second career win over the Serb and first since their Wimbledon semi-final in 2010.Djokovic, however, bounced on his toes throughout and effortlessly scrambled and slid across court to wrap up victory in two hours, 31 minutes and set up a semi-final clash with Spain's David Ferrer.
Image: Novak Djockovic celebrates after defeating Thomas Berdych in the quarter-final on Tuesday
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images