Roger Federer weathered a storm his friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka to edge his former apprentice in five sets at Melbourne Park to reach the final of the Australian Open on Thursday.
On the same day the Williams sisters booked their place in the women's final, 35-year-old Federer continued the march of the veterans, becoming the oldest man to reach a grand slam final in nearly 40 years.
The Swiss master was rattled as fourth seed Wawrinka rose up to level the match but his opponent double-faulted to hand Federer the decisive break in the sixth game on his way to a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 victory.
Federer served out the match to love, setting up a chance for his 18th grand slam title against Rafa Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov.
Federer's 28th major final
It will be Federer's sixth Australian final and 28th Grand Slam decider in total, and caps a marvellous comeback after the second half of last season was ruined by a knee injury.
The four-time Australian Open champion becomes the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final since Australia's Ken Rosewall (39 years 310 days) at the 1974 US Open.
"Yes, it is real now. I can talk about playing in finals for the first time," Federer said on court. "I have been dodging that bullet for the last few days now talking about the next round and the next round but this is the last one. So I will leave it all out here in Australia and [even] if I cannot walk for another five months, I will give it all I have."
Federer's path to the final
1st rd: bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Noah Rubin (USA) 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
3rd rd: bt Tomas Berdych (CZE x10) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
4th rd: bt Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
QF: bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-1, 7-5, 6-2
SF: bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI x4) 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3