Rafael Nadal to battle Roger Federer in Australian Open Final
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Rafael Nadal to battle Roger Federer in Australian Open Final



Nadal to become world no. 4 after Madrid Open victory

Rafael ‘Rafa’ Nadal set up a much-anticipated Australian Open final against old rival Roger Federer with a five-set semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov on Friday.

The Spaniard, who is attempting to win a 15th major title, won 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 in the match that took almost five hours.

Nadal has struggled with form and injury over the past couple of years, but has now reached a first Grand Slam final since 2014, and will face Swiss rival Federer in Melbourne on Sunday.

“I never dreamed to be back in the final of the Australian Open,” said Nadal after the semi-final triumph.

“It is a very special thing for both of us to be playing again in a major final. Neither of us probably thought we would be here again.”

The World No. 9 will battle 17th seed Roger Federer for the Men’s title.

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Federer on Thursday did beat fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3 to reach the final of the Melbourne event, keeping himself on course for an 18th Grand Slam title.

The 35-year-old, who is making his competitive return in Melbourne after six months out with a knee injury, has had a good run at the event, having beaten higher seeds like Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori to reach the current stage.

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” Federer said after defeating Wawrinka.

“I felt like everything happened so quickly at the end, I had to check the score.

“I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I’d come this far in Australia. It’s beautiful, I’m so happy.’’

Nadal has won 23 of his 34 matches against long-time rival Federer, including the 2009 Australian Open final. The duo’s battle for the Men’s single title on Sunday will add to the numbers; while Serena Williams gunning for her 7th Melbourne title will play sister Venus for the Women’s Single title on Saturday.



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