Australian Open: Nadal ousts Federer in straight sets, faces Wawrinka in final
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
Melbourne: The much-anticipated clash between 17-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal proved to be a one-sided affair. The World No. 1 ousted the Swiss in straight sets 7-6 6-3 6-3 in the second semi-final of Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena to book his berth for the final against Stanislas Wawrinka.
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The first set was the highlight of the match which lasted for 59 minutes and was decided through a tiebreaker. Federer was looking more fit than Nadal, who continued to fight despite having a blister on his left-hand.
Federer was looking confident as he swiftly moved across on the court until the tiebreaker. Nadal changed gears from there onwards, and it became the Spaniard's match.
In the early part of the second set, Federer saved four break points in the fourth game. In that particular game, Rafa once again troubled the Swiss with his top spin, as Federer ended up hitting couple of shots wide and long. Despite his struggle, Federer managed to hold on following a corrected call from the chair umpire which was called wide.
Federer had an opportunity to bounce back in the second set when he had a 0-30 lead over the Spaniard's serve in the ninth game. But Rafa once again bounced back and won the next four points of the game to win the set in a convincing manner.
The Spanird continued to dominate Federer's serve as he broke it again in the sixth game of second set off a forehand winner. Rafa then served for the set in the ninth game of the second set and won it ease.
In a must-win third set, Nadal yet again broke Federer's serve in the third game. The 17-time Major champion got his first break point of the match in the fourth game of the third set. While Rafa saved the first break point, scores leveled at 2-2 when the Spaniard's shot went wide and Federer broke Nadal's serve for the first time in the match. But Nadal once again broke Federer's serve in the seventh game, and finally in the ninth game which proved to be decisive. Even though Federer saved one match point in the ninth game, Rafa capitalised on the second one as Federer's forehand landed long.
Federer had a great run in the tournament where he knocked out the likes of Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray with his aggressive play at the nets, Unfortunately, the same strategy couldn't work against the mighty Spaniard, as Federer was seen struggling with his volley winners, most of which crashed into the net.