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Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

Last updated on: January 24, 2014 17:09 IST

Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

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Rafael Nadal entered the final of the men’s singles at the Australian Open after demolishing Roger Federer 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3 in the second semi-final at Melbourne Park on Friday.

The world No 1 Spaniard will take on Federer’s Swiss compatriot Stanislas Warwinka, who edged Tomas Berdych in the tightest of duels to reach his first Grand Slam final at the 36th attempt on Thursday.

Nadal has now beaten Federer 23 times, more than any other opponent. He has 22 victories against Novak Djokovic.

Despite a blister on his racquet hand, Nadal had entered the semi-final as the favourite having racked up an impressive 22-10 career record against Federer and was always in command as he won in two hours and 23 minutes.


Image: Rafael Nadal plays a backhand in his semi-final against Roger Federer on Friday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

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The Spaniard had won the last four times the pair met and also triumphed in their Melbourne Park semi-final two years ago.

On Friday, he again proved too good.

The top seed won the first set in 59 minutes after taking the tie-break 7-4.

In the second set, he effected the all-important break in the sixth game to go up 4-2, and then held serve before serving out the set after trailing 0-30. 


Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the first set on Friday
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Tags: Nadal

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Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

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The third set was a battle royal, with Nadal breaking early, in the third game for a 2-1 lead.

But the former world No 1 Swiss raised visions of a fightback as he effected his first break of the match by returning the break in the next game to draw abreast.

The Spaniard, however, broke twice again, first, for the second time in the set in the seventh game before proceeding to take a 5-3 lead. He then held serve and broke again to take the set and match.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Tags: Nadal

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Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

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For the 32-year-old Swiss, who had a terrible 2013, winning just one tournament and falling to sixth in the rankings, his misery continued. He entered the Australian Open with his lowest seeding at a the season opening Grand Slam since 2002, when he was ranked 13th in the world.

Last year's performances forced pundits to suggest the Swiss's time had come.

There were a few famous faces in the stands watching Nadal and Federer slug it out. One of them was former World No 1 Pete Sampras. One of the legends of tennis, Rod Laver was also present at the match.


Image: Former tennis player Pete Sampras watches Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battle it out in the semi-final
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

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Australian Open Photos: Nadal routs Federer to enter final

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Federer had reached only one Grand Slam semi-final since claiming a 17th major title by beating Andy Murray at Wimbledon in 2012 and was losing more games to players outside the 'Big Four' than he had previously.

In the past 10 days at Melbourne Park, however, he appeared to be close to his free-flowing best, none more so in his fourth round victory over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and then in Wednesday's quarter-final against Murray.


Image: Roger Federer plays a forehand against Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Tags: Nadal

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