Novak Djokovic lost to his Japanese rival Kei Nishikori at the same stage in 2014 but swept him aside 6-3 6-2 6-4 in just two hours seven minutes on this occasion.

Nishkori had a chance to make the contest less of a one-sided affair in the third set, breaking twice, but the world number one held firm with a break of his own in the seventh game before cruising to victory.

Djokovic – the defending champion in Melbourne – now goes on to face long-time adversary Roger Federer in the semi-final, their 45th encounter, with the head-to-head record finely balanced at 22-22.

By Taiwo Oyedeji

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