It's Federer and Nadal for Old Times' Sake

Tracy FergusonJan 28, 2017

Nadal also edges Federer in Grand Slams having won nine of their 11 matches in majors. "I think the first set was nerve-wracking". The last time they did so on a relatively neutral surface, unlike Paris's clay or London's lawn, was eight years ago, in the 2009 Australian Open-when Federer was 27 and Nadal 22. He ended 2016 losing to Murray in the longest match of the year at the ATP Tour World Finals and reached the No. 3 ranking, his highest ever.

For years, Roger Federer has been the most prolific tennis player from Switzerland.

"No matter what happens, somebody 34 or older will be in the final", the 22-time major victor said after her 6-2, 6-3 win over Johanna Konta.

The men's singles final at the Australian Open will pit ninth-seeded Rafael Nadal and 17th-seeded Roger Federer, two players whose achievements outstrip their seeds in this event.

But Nadal said his past triumphs counted for little considering how much time had passed since they last competed in a final.

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Nadal crushed Raonic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night in Melbourne 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 to end the Canadian's hopes.

While Wawrinka was won just three of their clashes, the 35-year-old Federer places no such stock in that statistic.

If this was a test of character, Dimitrov passed as he came again two games later to finally grab the set.

"It feels awesome. I never felt in my wildest dreams I would be coming this far in Australia".

"It's a very important match for both of us", Nadal said.

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Nadal and Federer, arguably the greatest rivals in tennis history, haven't met in a Grand Slam final since the 2011 French Open when the Spaniard came through in four sets. "For me, it's awesome to be through to the final of a Grand Slam again here in Australia", said Nadal, who will be playing in his fourth major final in Melbourne. "But I understand the magnitude of the match against Nadal, no doubt about it".

The same was true for 35-year-old Federer, who had fallen to No.17 in the world after six months out following knee surgery last year.

"Even when I was winning a lot I have doubts so you can imagine I have more when I am not winning and have injuries", said Nadal. "After that, I try to do all the things the right way to be ready for Sunday". I can not lie. I'm very happy for me, and very happy for him (Federer), because we are going to be in a very nice moment.

In the first week of this season, Dimitrov beat three top-10 opponents - Dominic Thiem, Raonic, and Kei Nishikori - on the way to a title in Brisbane, Australia, which has contributed to his 10-0 record thus far.

Nadal said it was "not a problem" that the men's semifinal were played on different days. "Including me, I'm going to watch it for sure", he said. With each man holding serve, another end-to-end tie breaker followed but when Dimitrov over shot another forehand, Nadal secured another decisive mini-break, sending his opponent scurrying across the court until he could only plant an exhausted return into the net to hand the third set to his opponent.

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