Melbourne, Jan 24: Rafael Nadal improved to a 19-3 record in Grand Slam semifinals and a 23-10 record over Roger Federer defeating the Swiss 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3 in the Australian Open semifinals here Friday to set up a final clash with another Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Federer saved two break points in the seventh game and a third in the ninth game to force a tiebreak in the first set. Nadal dictated from the baseline to surge into a 5-1 lead. Federer fought back to 5-4, but Nadal earned two set points with a big forehand into the corner and converted his first as Federer went long on a backhand, reports Xinhua.
Nadal broke Federer in the sixth game of the second set. Though he trailed as he served for the set, Nadal then reeled off four straight points to take the set.
Federer lost his serve again in the third game of the third set. But the Swiss immediately worked his way back to take his first break point of the match. But Nadal then made no mistake and broke his arch-rival twice more, in the seventh and ninth game, to triumph.
Nadal recorded his fifth consecutive victory over Federer to advance into his 19th Grand Slam final and is also bidding to win his 14th major title and join Pete Sampras in second place on the list of all-time Grand Slam winners. Federer leads with 17.
The Spaniard will meet No.8 seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in Sunday’s final and is one win away from being the first man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slams at least twice.
Wawrinka advanced to his first major final after beating three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and Tomas Berdych in the semis. IANS