Rafael Nadal has beaten Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 to advance to the final of the Australian Open and set up a title match with his old rival, Roger Federer. The ninth-seeded Spaniard fought off two break points in the eighth game of the fifth set, then hit a backhand winner down the line to break Dimitrov in the next game and take a 5-4 lead. He served it out in the next game to win in 4 hours, 56 minutes.
Here is his winning moment:
HE’S DONE IT!
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2017
Nadal improved his record in Grand Slam semifinals to an impressive 21-3 and advanced to his fourth Australian Open final. He’s only won the title at Melbourne Park once in 2009. Nadal has a 23-11 head-to-head match record against Federer and a 6-2 advantage in Grand Slam finals. Federer hasn’t beaten Nadal in a major final since Wimbledon in 2007.
Rafael Nadal won the first set 6-3.The 14-time major winner, returning from an extended injury layoff for his left wrist, broke Dimitrov’s serve in the fourth game and closed out in 35 minutes. He won the third set 7-6 (5).
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Grigor Dimitrov fought back to win the fourth set against Rafael Nadal in a tiebreak, 7-6 (4), to force a fifth-set decider in their Australian Open semifinal. The two players traded eight breaks of serve in the opening three sets – four apiece – but neither had a break-point chance in the fourth.
There were two service breaks in the third set, and a delay after the 11th game when a person in the crowed needed medical attention. Nadal held serve in the next game, and never trailed in the tiebreaker.