PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach Australian Open final

(BBC) Rafael Nadal set up a much-anticipated Australian Open final against old rival Roger Federer with an epic, five-set semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov.

Rafa won 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 in almost five hours to reach a first Grand Slam final since 2014.

Rafa, who is bidding for a 15th major title, will face Swiss rival Roger Federer in Melbourne on Sunday.

After the match, Rafa said:

It’s difficult to describe the emotions. First of all, I was tired. Grigor was playing unbelievable. It was a great match. I feel very happy to be a part of it. I enjoy it. The crowd was just amazing. Many, many thanks for that huge support. To qualify for the final like this means a lot to me.

When you work hard, when you have some tough moments… last year was tough for me. It takes a while to come back to the level that you had when you were playing well. Roland Garros was a tough moment. I worked a lot during this month and a half at home. I never dreamed to be back in the final of the Australian Open. … but, here I am.

On the dream final against Federer: For me, it’s a privilege. It’s a special thing for both of us to be in a major final again. After a couple of years having problems. I have been with Roger… We feel lucky. (via Australian Open)
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29 thoughts on “PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach Australian Open final

  1. Thania Ayala

    Rafa what a amazing performance we are so happy for you I live in Florida we were up since 3:30 to 8:30 i cried tears of happiness for you and for me because I your number 1 fan. Todo mi amor para el domingo

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  2. Ana the biggest fan to Rafa

    Rafa what a spectacular Mach ,you play on a whole other level love it ,good luck on the finals you can do it this year 2017 is your,can’t wait WACHING THE FINALS.vamosssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤️🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾

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    1. Julia

      Great match and played by both players but at end the best player won

      And to the loser that he is giving “the finger down” to every comment…that…..a pathetic loser lol

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  3. What a spectacular tour de force performance by Rafa. My heart was skipping quite a few beats during the fifth set. Luckily I recovered due to Rafa’s sensational victory.

    I also want to congratulate Grigor. He played magnificently especially since he never played a 5 setter before. I am so happy for him. I feel he is finally reaching his full potential and eventually he’ll reach a GS final in the near future. Also congrats to his coach, Danny Valverdu for his great coaching efforts.

    Honestly the match was just breath-taking whether ahead or behind, Rafa’s fighting spirit
    is on a whole other level. Loved it!

    Also, I think Rafa gets his beautiful smile from his dad. Here’s to a great rest and recovery period before the main event against the other living legend, Roger!

    Vamos!

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    1. Margo

      Aww, don’t be too hard on her, she did include Roger in the list of players with whom she was impressed. A list that named most of those who were left at that time. LOL. Curiously, Rafa’s name didn’t appear anywhere except for within the insult.
      Her grandiose statement about “….here is my long-awaited (long awaited??? by whom??) prediction for the remainder of the tournament and eventual winner,” led me to believe she had inside information. (Joking) I hope she didn’t quit her day job.

      RAFA ROCKS

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      1. I do not see Maria (Siberia) as a true Rafa fan. A few backhanded compliments and a lot of negativity. However she is entitled to her opinions.
        Regarding Rafa’s match against Dimitrov I was in a state of nervous exhaustion through the whole five hours, one minute full of hope for a Rafa win and the next preparing myself for a Rafa loss. Both players showed amazing talent and physical and mental strength.
        I am thrilled for Rafa and convinced that his ending his 2016 year early to fully recover from his wrist injury was a wise move. Likewise for Roger. after knee surgery. Now they are back for a wonderful final. I only hope Rafa can recover from his totally exhausting semi-final in time to play at his best at the final.
        Congratulations to Dimitrov for his brilliant display against Rafa. His turn to win a grand slam will not be too far off if he continues to perform like this.

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  4. Margo

    Am I surprised you won, Rafa? No. And yes, my heart is filled with joy for you. True, the match was tougher than I thought it would be but I knew you would find your way to the final. I expect that this year be your 2013 redux or better.

    RAFA ROCKS

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  5. Debby

    A truly great match. So glad I set the alarm for 4 AM and took the day off work! I’m not as nice as Rafa, I’ll say it is obviously unfair to have 1 player have 1 less day to recover all for the sake of tv ratings. Hopefully 2009 will repeat itself. Rafa was oh so close 2 other times, up 4-2 in the 5th against Djoker and his back going out against Stan.Please tennis gods!!

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  6. Fedallica

    People….😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 He did it!!!! I will never recover from this match. Never.

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  7. Mac

    Yay Rafa!!

    Wooow what a match! Whoever won this totally deserved it, but I am happy it was Rafa, of course! What wonderful resistance by Dimitrov! I hope he plays like this going forward, and his potential will be realized.

    So, rest for Rafa, and the Prince of Tennis Federer awaits on Sunday!!

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  8. DMTNA

    What a heartbreaking match!!!
    Nicely done Rafa!
    Roger is in advantage cuz he has 2 days off instead of 1. But well that’s not the big problem.
    I believe Grigor is much more dangerous than Roger. His backhand is unpredictable. But you passed him.
    The number 15 is in your hand. The history of achieving Double Career Grandslam is your hand.
    Go get it!

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  9. Rafantastic

    YES! Rafa you did it 🎾💪🏼😅 – So very happy for you sweetheart 😃❤ Can’t wait watching the final between you and Roger 😍😊🌟 It’s legendary 💖🤗 Good luck 😘🍀

    VAMOS❣️🏆☺️

    Like

  10. CanaDiana

    No, we are the privileged ones!😜Dimitrov played his brains out, but, you-you were so tough, so confident. There were moments I could not watch🙈but all is right with the universe. Mystery. Magic. Pure drama. No one could have dreamed these finals!! Serena. Venus. Roger. Rafael. Tennis nirvana☯️☯️☯️☯️

    Yea, Serena. This is a win-win❣️

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  11. Susie

    Just one last surge rafa and you will be the only man in the open era to have won each slam twice. It’s only the ao which is holding you back so go and bloody win it! If not, Roger and novak have a chance to do it at roland garros. Go get it 1st!

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    1. YB

      Yes, even though I was up since 3:30am this morning, and late to work. It is still a beautiful beautiful morning!

      Can just say “Thank you very much, Rafa”. You bring so much to the tennis world: your incredible passion, fight, and talent (yes, talent!). We’re so proud of you, and grateful to you! One point, one game, one set, and one match a time, you’re back to the top, where you belong forever (no matter what the ranking says)! Good luck on Sunday!

      Grigor, today you showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight, and a lot of talent too! Hope to see you conquer the biggest mountain soon (as long as it’s not at Rafa’s expense. :-)).

      Like

  12. Charan @Eureka

    Fighting till the end. Thats Rafa. Saved 75% break points. Tension left my heart frozen. My Eyes full of tears. I wish rafa full recovery from the long tiring match.

    Like

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