Nadal controls Federer to reach Aussie final

Rafael Nadal has taken the first two sets 7-6(4), 6-3 against Roger Federer in the Australian Open semi-finals on Friday night in Melbourne.

Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain
Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain

Federer was left to rue 24 unforced errors as he fell behind in the pair’s 33rd meeting. He had saved two break points in the seventh game and a third in the ninth game to force a tie-break, but 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 backhand.

No matter what Federer threw at Nadal in the second set, it came back at him with interest. The Spaniard had treatment on the blister on his left hand after the first game, but was seemingly unaffected as he went after Federer in the fourth game. Federer was rewarded for aggressive play on three break points, but it only delayed the inevitable. 

Nadal engineered a 15/40 lead in the sixth game with a remarkable forehand pass, played from behind him after Federer had seemingly salvaged the point with a deep forehand volley. This time there would be no escape for Federer. Nadal gained his first break of the match with a forehand winner into the corner. The Spaniard trailed 0/30 as he served for the set, with Federer attacking relentlessly, but showed great defensive skills as he reeled off four straight points to take the set.

More in Tennis