Rafael Nadal produced a brilliant performance to reach the Australian Open final for the first time since 2014. The world No. 9 defeated Grigor Dimitrov in a five-set thriller on Friday.
Nadal clinched the marathon match 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 in four hours and 56 minutes against Dimitrov, who is often called ‘baby Federer’. This was the 30-year-old Nadal’s second five-setter in the tournament after his quarterfinal clash against Alexander Zverev.
The Spaniard will now face his long-time rival Roger Federer in an exciting ninth grand slam final.
Here are the top five quotes by Rafael Nadal after his thrilling victory –
On semifinal vs Dimitrov: These kinds of matches destroy your body but that’s tennis, and that’s special. Much more special than playing best of three (sets).
On the fans’ support: I was tired and Grigor (Dimitrov) was playing unbelievable. It was a great match. I feel very happy now to be part of it. I enjoy it a lot. The crowd was just amazing.”
On playing Federer: I feel that this rivalry is talked about outside the tennis world and that is good for our sport. The combination of two different styles, that makes the matches really special.
On his and Federer’s resurgent form: It’s special to play with Roger again in the final of a Grand Slam. I cannot lie. I’m very happy for me, and very happy for him (Federer), because we are going to be in a very nice moment.
On his brilliant run of form: I didn’t think of being where I am today, but I always had confidence that if I can win some matches anything can happen.