MELBOURNE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Rafael Nadal improved to a 19-3
record in Grand Slam semifinals and a 23-10 record over Roger
Federer after he beat the Swiss 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3 in the
Australian Open semifinals here on Friday.
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
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
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 led 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
Wawrinka advanced to his first major final by beating three-time
defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and Tomas
Berdych in the semis. And the Swiss never took a win in his
previous 12 meetings with Nadal. Endite