Defending Champion Stan Wawrinka blitzes Kei Nishikori to reach Australian Open semi-finals

Reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is on track for another finals berth after storming past fellow seed Kei Nishikori.

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Stan Wawrinka won through to a second successive Australian Open semi-final by accounting for Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 7-6 (8-6) on Wednesday.

Wawrinka " the Swiss fourth seed " was the aggressor from the outset and never looked in any real danger, despite wasting five match points as he triumphed in two hours four minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss star will face either Novak Djokovic or Milos Raonic in the final four.

Nishikori won the pair's only encounter last year en route to reaching the US Open final, triumphing in a quarter-final five-setter.

But Wawrinka went out avenging that defeat early on centre court.

Wawrinka " serving at 89 per cent - was a man on a mission in the opening set, racing out of the blocks for a 3-1 lead after breaking Nishikori in the fourth game.

The Swiss star, who had two set-point opportunities in the eighth game, consolidated the break as he served out the set in barnstorming fashion with 12 winners to Nishikori's three.

Wawrinka was just as ruthless in the second set, breaking his opponent in the fifth game for a 4-2 buffer.

And just as he did in the opener, Wawrinka " with nine aces in the set " consolidated the break, fending off three break points as he earned a two-set lead.

On the brink of elimination, Nishikori was the aggressor at the start of the third set.

Nishikori broke in the second game, only for Wawrinka to break straight back to level at 2-2.

Neither player dropped serve again as the set went to a tie-break.

Wawrinka had five match-point opportunities as Nishikori fought to stay in the contest but it only prolonged the inevitable as the defending champion marched into the semis with ace number 20.

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