The time warp effect at the Australian Open is complete after Rafael Nadal dramatically set up a men’s final against Roger Federer to follow that of the Williams sisters.
Nadal, 30, will be the junior partner of the weekend after summoning up a display that saw him draw on his famed determination of old to see off Bulgaria’s courageous and free-flowing Grigor Dimitrov in an epic semi-final.
The Spaniard needed four hours and 56 minutes to win 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-7 6-4 . Nadal was under siege from the dogged Bulgarian for much of the nerve-shredding clash at Rod Laver Arena, but the Spaniard crashed through Dimitrov’s defences in the final set to book his first grand slam final since his 2014 French Open title.
He will now play in a championship match between two players who share 31 Grand Slam titles between them.