MELBOURNE, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 25th Jan, 2017 ) :Rafael Nadal edged closer to a much-anticipated Australian Open final with his great rival Roger Federer after marching into the semi-finals on Wednesday. The 14-time Grand Slam champion was too powerful for injury-hit world number three Milos Raonic, winning 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 in two hours 44 minutes. The Spanish superstar will play Bulgaria's 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov in Friday's semi-final.
He leads Dimitrov 7-1. Nadal preferred to focus on his next match with Dimitrov rather than contemplating a ninth Grand Slam final showdown with Federer, but he paid tribute to the Swiss legend for his amazing run at this year's Australian Open. "Let me enjoy today, the victory, being in semi-final. For me is great news again. It's a good start of the season," he told reporters. "Now I have a very tough match against Dimitrov. "Whatever happens on the other side of the draw, I think it is great for tennis that Roger is there again after an injury, after a lot of people talked that probably he would never be back.
"The real thing is that he's back and he's probably ready to win again, fighting again to win a major. "That's good for the fans because Roger is a legend of our sport. I am happy to be there, too. I am focused on my semi-final." It was another accomplished performance from the 30-year-old Spaniard who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final since he won the 2014 French Open, and struggled with injury last year. "Great. It's good news. Especially winning against difficult players: (Gael) Monfils in quarter-finals, (Alexander) Zverev round of 16 and now Raonic," Nadal said. "All of them are top players. So that's very important for me because that means that I am competitive and playing well. "I'm so just excited about being back in final rounds of the most important events."