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Gritty Nadal keeps date with old foe

Gritty Nadal keeps date with old foe
Highlights

Rafael Nadal had to be at his battling best to outlast Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 at the Australian Open on Friday and set up a mouth-watering ninth grand slam final meeting with his great rival Roger Federer.

Melbourne: Rafael Nadal had to be at his battling best to outlast Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 at the Australian Open on Friday and set up a mouth-watering ninth grand slam final meeting with his great rival Roger Federer.

The 30-year-old Spaniard looked every inch a 14-time Grand Slam champion as he slugged it out with his 25-year-old opponent over nearly five hours on Rod Laver Arena to reach his first major final since the 2014 French Open and 21st overall.

"Grigor was playing unbelievable, it was a great match," Nadal said. "I feel very happy to be part off it, I enjoyed it a lot. To qualify for the final in a match like this is amazing."

With 35-year-old Serena Williams facing her 36-year-old sister Venus in Saturday's women's final and a rested Federer, 35, waiting for Nadal on Sunday, it is the first time in the open era that all four finalists at a Grand Slam have been over 30.

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