A resurgent Roger Federer reckons his 'poker face' played a key role in his four-set victory over Andy Murray in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion weathered a spirited fightback from the Scot before winning 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-3 to set up a mouthwatering semi-final with great rival Rafa Nadal.
Federer wobbled when serving out for the match at 5-4 in the third set and was dragged into a tiebreak on Rod Laver Arena.
Murray saved two match-points to keep his bid for a third grand slam title alive, but in the fourth set the 26-year-old conceded the decisive break at 3-4 and Federer made no mistake on his third match point, sealing victory with an ace after three hours and 20 minutes.
"Andy played well and put the pressure on me so I'm happy to get the win," Federer said in a courtside interview after reaching his 11th successive semi-final at Melbourne Park.
"I probably miss more break points than other guys but I keep my composure and keep the poker face and tonight it worked."
After a disappointing 2013, the 32-year-old Federer is convinced that he is close to getting back to his best in the twilight of his career.
He added: "I'm much higher than I was last year. I have confidence in my movement and it's a game of movement out there these days.
"I'm just happy to be playing back out here healthy."
As for his semi-final against top seed Nadal, Federer said: "It's going to be a good match, it's going to be brutal and all those things ... I'm looking forward to slugging it out with him in a couple of days."