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Nadal, Federer set for blockbuster Aussie Open semifinal

7:27 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will resume their rivalry in the Australian Open semifinals after each posted four- set quarterfinal victories on Wednesday.

The world No. 1 Nadal was the first to advance, claiming a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 triumph over 22nd-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, before Federer reached his 11th straight Aussie Open semi with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Andy Murray at Rod Laver Arena.

The former No. 1 great Federer, seeded sixth at this fortnight, reached the final four of a Grand Slam for the first time since falling to the reigning Wimbledon champion Murray in the Melbourne semis last year. He was a quarterfinal loser at the French Open last spring, then suffered a stunning second-round loss at Wimbledon and a fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open.

The 17-time Grand Slam champ is seeking his first Aussie crown since 2010.

Meanwhile, the 2009 Aussie Open champ and 2012 runner-up Nadal dropped the first set to Dimitrov on Day 10, but the 13-time major titlist gritted through a pair of tough tiebreaks over the next two sets before running away with the final set at Melbourne Park.

It will be the fourth semifinal appearance at the Aussie Open for the reigning U.S. and French Open champion.

Dimitrov, who became the first Bulgarian to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam singles event, dropped to 0-4 in his career against Nadal.

The first men's semifinal will be staged on Thursday, when seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych takes on eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka. Both men will appear in their first-ever Aussie semi.

The Sports Network

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