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Nadal books place in final after gruelling battle with Dimitrov

AUSTRALIA OPEN

Nadal books place in final after gruelling battle with Dimitrov

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning match point in his semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

Clive Brunskill

Getty Images

The Spaniard outlasted a relentless Grigor Dimitrov in Melbroune 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-7 6-4 and Roger Federer awaits Nadal in the final on Sunday.

Federer v Nadal live

Rafa Nadal fended off Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 5-7 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-4 in a marathon semi-final on Friday to set up a dream Australian Open decider against great rival Roger Federer.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory against against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov

Sin tituloSpain's Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory against against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov

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.

Tension at boiling-point

With tension reaching boiling-point and the terraces roaring, Nadal captured the decisive break in the ninth game and closed out victory on his third match point when Dimitrov hammered a backhand long.

Nadal and Federer will meet in their ninth grand slam final and first at Melbourne Park since the Spaniard won the 2009 title.

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