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Nadal beats Federer to reach Australian Open final

Nadal beats Federer to reach Australian Open final

PanARMENIAN.Net - Rafael Nadal powered past Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final and maintain his dominance over the 17-time Grand Slam champion, according to BBC Sport.

The world number one came through 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-3 and goes on to face Federer's compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka, for the title on Sunday, Jan 26.

The Spaniard, 27, will be a strong favorite to claim his 14th Slam, and become only the third man to win all four majors at least twice.

Nadal was in brilliant form in his 33rd meeting with Federer, overcoming a blister on his racquet hand and, if anything, growing stronger as the match progressed.

Federer, 32, had captured the headlines throughout the tournament with his eye-catching form, built around some excellent serving, but he was constantly under pressure against Nadal.

The Spaniard missed two backhands on break points in game seven as both men struggled off that wing, and another went begging in game nine, but he dominated the tie-break.

Federer made a costly error with a volley into the net and, despite cutting a 5-1 deficit to 5-4, could not prevent Nadal closing it out, the BBC says.

Nadal ripped through the opening game of the second set with some huge forehands, followed by an unexpected double-handed backhand drop shot, but then took a medical timeout for attention to his palm.

It did not prove to be a helping hand for Federer, in fact quite the opposite as Nadal came storming back.

Only some big serving saw Federer save three more break points at 2-2, but he was finally undone two games later when a breathtaking angled backhand and a heavy forehand into the corner put Nadal 4-2 in front, and on his way to a two-set lead.

For all the positive influence of new coach Stefan Edberg over the past fortnight, when Federer dumped a backhand volley into the net to drop serve early in the third, the outcome of the match had a very familiar feel.

There was a flash of hope for the thousands of Federer fans on Rod Laver Arena when their man finally broke to hit straight back, and some serve-volleying helped him to a 3-2 lead, but Nadal was soon on the hunt again.

The relentless pressure told as Federer's forehand flew long to give up his serve at 3-3, and Nadal swept to victory with his fourth break of the day thanks to a succession of brilliant forehands.

It gave him a 23rd win over Federer, who still has not beaten Nadal at a Grand Slam since the 2007 Wimbledon final, and never away from the All England Club.

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