[notice noticeType=”info”]Photo: Rafael Nadal celebrating the victory | Source: RIAN[/notice]
World No. 1, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal will play against the Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final after defeating another Swiss, Roger Federer with score 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3 in a stunning display in Rod Laver Arena on Friday night (January 24th) in Melbourne.
Rafael Nadal advanced to his 19th Grand Slam championship match after beating Federer for the fifth time in a row. It was their 33rd meeting in their careers. Roger Federer tops the all-time list with 24 Grand Slam final appearances. Nadal also improved his personal head to head battle with the Swiss to 23-10, and in Sunday, he will try to achieve his 14th grand slam title and second in Australia. He won the title in Melborne at 2009 and lost to Novak Djokovic at 2012 final.
Both players opened the match with good service games and managed not to be broken. During the seventh and the ninth games, the Spaniard had opportunities to break Federer but the Swiss used all his experience and managed to escape from the dangerous position. The winner of the opening set was decided in the tie break. There, Rafa was sharper than the former world number one and won the tie break with 7-4.
Nadal won the first game of the second set and immediately asked for a medical treatment to his injured forehand. Despite the injure, Rafa managed to reach three break points opportunities during the fourth game, but again, the Swiss managed to survive. Nadal continued to shot amazing balls and reached almost every impossible ball. At the sixth game of the set, the Spaniard again had two opportunities to break and to get the advantage. In this time, he finally broke with amazing forehand shot. The match continued to be interesting with long rallies and spectacular shots from both players. Finally, after 47 minutes Nadal won the set 6-3 and got two sets of advantage over Federer.
The Spaniard continued to pressure his opponent and already in the third game managed to break Federer and to go to the front. But the experienced 17 time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer, did not give up and broke back. Federer also won the next game and took back the advantage with standing ovation from the crowd in Melbourne. Rafa won his service game and immediately broke again to 4-3. Nadal worked hard during his next service game but managed to win it and to be one game from the final. In the ninth game the Spaniard got his match point and with heavy pressure made Federer to miss his shot and after 38 minutes of playing won the set with 6-3. Within two hours and 20 minutes Nadal celebrated the victory, and he is one match from having 14 Grand Slam titles in his resume.
In the final, Rafael Nadal is going to face another Swiss, the 27-year old, Stanislas Wawrinka who is taking the eighth place in the world and won in his semifinal match against world number seven, the Czech Tomas Berdych with score 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4). The Finals will take place in Sunday at 10:30 (Baltic time +2:00 GMT).
After the match Nadal said that “I played well tonight, I think I played probably my best match of the tournament. So I am very, very, very happy for this great news that I played my best match in that semi-final against Roger. He arrived to that match winning two great matches against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray two days ago. I am really very happy the way I played tonight, and it is a very special moment to have the chance to be in another final.”
Regarding his next opponent the Spaniard said that “He’s playing great. He’s a good friend, great guy. So I am happy for him that he’s in the final. He deserves it. He’s playing better and better every year. He’s serving unbelievable. He’s hitting the ball very strong from the baseline. He is very, very quick. I know it will be a very, very tough match. If I am not able to play my best, I think I will not have chances because he’s coming into this match with a lot of victories and playing great.”
Nadal leading 12-0 against Wawrinka who will play his first Grand Slam final in his career. The favorite for the title is Nadal who was in this position 19 times before and the pressure in this position is well known to him. “Nadal has more winning experience in Grand Slam finals. More confidence against Wawrinka because of head to head between them, Rafa has not the most hardest semi final so he is not that tired” said Benas Majauskas, Lithuanian professional tennis player.
[notice noticeType=”info”]Photo: Match stats | Source: www.ausopen.com[/notice]