Nadal to take on Williams in Australian Open semifinal

MELBOURNE: Spanish tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco have both reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Nadal beat the Frenchman Gilles Simon in three sets while Verdasco needed four sets to dismiss Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, last year''s runner-up.

The two Spaniards will face each other in the first semi-final match. Switzerland''s Roger Federer blasted Andy Roddick off-court in another fearsome display to reach the Australian Open final and stay on course for a record-tying 14th Grand Slam title on Thursday.

The second seed absorbed Roddick''s serve and dominated the rallies to take it 6-2, 7-5, 7-5, with archrival Rafael Nadal playing Fernando Verdasco in the all-Spanish second semi-final on Friday.