Nadal beats Federer, reaches Australian Open final

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2014 at 7:07 am •  Published: January 24, 2014
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"Too much talk about the blister. The blister is OK," Nadal said in his on-court interview. "The problem ... is the position of the blister, it's difficult." But, he said, he didn't feel any pain.

He certainly didn't show it if he did. He resisted just about everything Federer threw at him, scrambling to keep balls in play that usually would be winners.

Federer served and volleyed, he played with good touch, he played drop shots, he tried everything — even complaining to the chair umpire about Nadal's loud grunting after the tiebreaker — but his 50 resulting unforced errors doubled the number by his rival.

Left-handed Nadal hit 13 of his 28 winners on his powerful forehand, attacking Federer's one-handed backhand yet again.

"I tried a few things ... then again, Rafa does a good job of neutralizing you," Federer said. "So I guess at times I couldn't quite do what I wanted to do, but that's because of Rafa."

The first break of the match came in the sixth game of the second set, giving Nadal a 4-2 lead. That only heightened the crowd support for Federer, who got a standing ovation when he broke Nadal back to make it 2-all in the third set, immediately after dropping serve in the previous game. It noise and chants died down again when Federer was broken again soon after and Nadal finished off the match.

Wawrinka beat Tomas Berdych on Thursday night, getting an extra day off ahead of Sunday's championship match. Li Na will be hoping for third time lucky in the women's final on Saturday against Dominika Cibulkova. She has reached the finals in three of the past four years, but is yet to win the Australian title.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci rallied to win the last five games and successfully defended their Australian Open women's doubles title on Friday with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.