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  • Tennis great Rod Laver has voiced his hope that the next golden era of talented players is emerging. (AAP) (SBS)Source: SBS
26 Jan 2016 - 11:14 PM  UPDATED 26 Jan 2016 - 11:15 PM

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Day nine at the Australian Open began in style, with tennis legend Rod Laver receiving a moving tribute on the court named after him, Rod Laver Arena.

Laver’s three Australian Open victories, in 1960, 1962 and 1969 all occurred before champions were presented with replica cup trophies.

Marking his 1969 win, Laver was given a new replica cup which he held aloft to cheers from the crowd.

The Australia Day schedule featured the women’s quarter finals showdown between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

Williams sailed past Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in just over an hour and a half, marking her 18th consecutive time she’s won their head-to-head meetups.

She explained why her style of play has been so successful against the Russian number five seed.

Can 34-year-old Williams go all the way in 2016?

Interestingly, each time Serena Williams has made the Open semi-finals in the past, she’s gone on to win the title.

She next faces Poland’s Agneska Radwanska, who conceded only four games in her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain.

Two of men’s tennis biggest names Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, will face each other in the first semi-final after they each progressed today.

Despite being broken twice, Federer cruised past number 6 seed Tomas Berdych winning 7-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Federer said the lengthy first set was a crucial part of the match.

He now faces number one seed Novak Djokovic – in what will be their 45th meeting.

The Serb remains on track for a record 6th title in Melbourne, storming past Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours and 7 minutes.

Going into the semi-final against Federer, Djokovic has some firm statistics on his side.

He’s won 52 of his last 55 match played at the Open.

Day 10 at the Australian Open feature the remaining quarterfinal matches. The program will be opened at 11am AEST by Germany’s Angelique Kerber versus two times champion Victoria Azarenka.

Later in the day, Britain’s Johanna Konta takes on qualifiers China’s Shuai Zhang, while the man’s bottom draw match up will include David Ferrer versus Andy Murray and France Gaël Monfil against Canada’s Milos Raonic.