Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the semifinals of 2017 Australian Open in thrilling five sets, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4) and 6-4. The Spanish pro moves on to the championship round in the Grand Slam in Melbourne, Australia to meet rival Roger Federer.
Most tennis fans wanted a Nadal vs. Federer final in this Australian Open and they got it with the Spaniard surviving the tough challenge from the Bulgarian. Dimitrov was seeded 15th in this tournament but he will rise in the ATP rankings after a successful stint in Melbourne.
Close affair for Nadal vs. Dimitrov semis
This semifinal match was close all throughout. It featured two tiebreaks, in the third and fourth sets. Nadal and Dimitrov alternated set wins and set up another close fifth set, which the Spaniard won by breaking Dimitrov’s final serve on the ninth game. A serving Nadal finished off Dimitrov in the tenth after the Bulgarian lost a point from a backhand unforced error.
Nadal credited his semis opponent for a great effort. The Spaniard said he felt the support of the crowd in Melbourne and it inspired him to play at top level.
“I think Grigor played great. I played great. So was a great quality of tennis tonight. So just for me, is amazing to be through to a final of Grand Slam again here in Australia at the first of the year. Means a lot to me. I feel the love of the people here. They give me a lot of positive energy,” Nadal stated postmatch via the tournament’s official website.
“Just I think I feel very happy to be part of this match, no? Arrive moment in the fifth set that for sure I wanted to win. I say to myself, I am giving my best, I am playing very well. If I lose, that’s it. Grigor deserves, too.”
Nadal will meet Federer and resume their rivalry on Sunday for the 2017 Australian Open final. Nadal leads their head-to-head series but Federer is more successful in winning Grand Slams.
Photo courtesy: Brett Marlow/Wikimedia Commons