Nadal Takes On Dimitrov In Australian Open SFs, Who’s The Pick? Roger Federer Redux
by Sean Randall | January 26th, 2017, 10:09 pm
  • 293 Comments

The last spot in the finals is up for grabs tonight in Melbourne. Already into the Australian Open final is one Roger Federer who edged Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 in a 3-hour thriller last night.

Federer continued to show he can beat time and beat the very best, scoring his second Top 5 win of the tournament (both in 5 sets) in his 14th straight win over Wawrinka on hard courts.

Early on, Wawrinka hung tough and actually played pretty well, but Federer was the aggressor and he was rewarded for it.

Federer opened things up in the second securing an early break which prompted Wawrinka to break his racquet on his leg. The effort didn’t do much as Federer cruised. With hints of injury, it looked like another quick night for Roger.

Sure enough, Wawrinka left the court for medical treatment after the end of the second, but upon returning there was still no sign of life. That is until a sudden break and Wawrinka got his game going, reeling off six straight games to take the second and go up 1-0 in the fourth.

Stan really started to find his groove, dominating Federer who was starting to wane.

Then as we started the fifth, it was Federer’s turn to leave the court. Gamesmanship? I don’t know, but it didn’t seem to matter much. Stan had an early chance, let it slip. Roger pounced on his and it was over.

Quick court, helped Federer, hurt Stan. I don’t know about these injuries, but both guys, at times, were not moving great. Other times they were.

The big takeaway is Federer gets the extra day off to recover any adductor, as he says, issues he has and luckily for Roger it wasn’t that long of a match nor that physical.

Again, two weeks ago when the draw came out, who really would have thought Federer would be in the final? It’s quite remarkable for someone who hasn’t played in six months or been the Australian Open final since 2010! Yet here he is. Amazing.

“I’m in the finals, I know that,” Federer said. “I know I will have a chance to win on Sunday now. That’s a great position to be in. Regardless of who it’s going to be against, I think it’s going to be special either way. One is going to go for his first slam or it’s the epic battle with Rafa.

“All I care about is that I can win on Sunday. Doesn’t matter who’s across the net. But I understand the magnitude of the match against Nadal, no doubt about it.”

So will it be Rafa?

Rafael Nadal v Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor is the hot guy right now in 2017. He won Brisbane beating three Top 10 players and he’s carried that momentum into this week with wins over Richard Gasquet and David Goffin.

Now it’s a big step up to face Rafael Nadal. And he’s got to do it in the biggest match of his life, playing just his second Grand Slam semifinal and trying to spoil the tennis world’s dream of a Federer-Nadal Sunday final.

I think Grigor has the game to trouble Nadal (this Nadal, not the better version of Nadal), I just don’t know if mentally he can handle the moment.

This isn’t winning Brisbane or Acapulco, or beating Gasquet or Goffin. This is beating Rafa on a big stage over five sets in a Grand Slam semifinal. A stage where Rafa doesn’t like to lose – I believe he’s won 12 straight and 20 of 23 in Slam semis.

And to Nadal’s credit, he has improved his play. Granted, Raonic didn’t do much and Gael Monfils still can’t figure out how to play Rafa, but Nadal’s been serving better than at the start of the event, and if he continues that trend he should be okay against Dimitrov.

Just like playing Roger, Rafa will go to the well and use that forehand-to-backhand exchange and as long as Rafa gets some depth on that that he’ll get the better.

That said, Dimitrov has the speed and the firepower to punish Nadal on short balls, especially on a quick court. And this could really be the Bulgarian’s moment, his big breakthrough which is quite a turnaround considering he was ranked No. 40 last summer.

“I feel like I have all the tools to go further, and my job isn’t over yet,” Dimitrov said. “I’m looking forward to my match on Friday. I think I’m prepared. I think I’m ready to go the distance.

“I don’t shy away from that. I’m confident enough to say that I feel good physically, and overall like on the court. Just going forward with the confidence that I have built up also from the previous tournament. Now with each match I’ve been feeling better and better. It just all comes pretty natural right now.”

So again, Nadal needs to serve well and get length on his shots. If those things happen, then we’ll get our final.
The pick: Nadal in 4

ESPN will have live coverage starting at 3:30am! Get some sleep now!


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293 Comments for Nadal Takes On Dimitrov In Australian Open SFs, Who’s The Pick? Roger Federer Redux

AndyMira Says:

Rafa in 3 or 4…WOOOOHOOOO!!

#KEEP CALM AND VAMOS RAFA!!!!


Humble Rafa Says:

I am glad all the Scot/English confused folks are supporting me. I wish you will do that more often, even when Sir Lady Forehand is in the draw.


RF Says:

I have an eerie feeling Baby Fed might win this one. Baby Fed vs Fed — that’s another final that’ll be awesome to watch.


Michael Says:

Rafa in 4. Yes


Michael Says:

I do not think Dmitrov has the necessary tools to test a resurgent Rafa.

It would be advisable of him to go through some of the earlier matches of Novak and learn the secret as to how he tamed Rafa beating him in his own game.

But Novak is too special and everybody cannot emulate him although reference will certainly help Dmitrov’s cause reading Rafa.


AndyMira Says:

HR 10:39pm…He he..you just wait M and JK woke up and smack your triangle head and they will mold your head to be a dart board!..Oh,btw..it’s called RESPECT and TOLERATION..in case YOU DIDN’T KNOW!!!AWWWW!…VAMOS RAFA!!!!


Chrisford1 Says:

Michael-
Right now I’m worried about Djokovic thinking he is a little too special and this caused him to get burned out (hopefuly only temporarily) trying to be perfect 2015 and on.
But yes, there is something past just trophies when you see what Novak and Rafa did – they basically beat everyone they faced enough to have positive H2Hs over all but a very few.
I think Rafa came into the pros tougher than Novak did and until recently, was judged the tougher of the two to fight. Tennis Channel did one of those throwaway pieces back in 2013 where they omitted the top 3 and asked others who was the toughest. They all said Rafa. Not a single Fed. And no Djokovics either until the editing showed a few prompts – Andy said, and well, as you know obviously, Novak is terribly hard to beat on hardcourt ………”Oh, and Roger too?”

Tsonga was laughing. What about Novak? “He’s the guy that destroyed my entire career, and Rafa is even tougher.”


jane Says:

Rafa’s gonna win, no?

Here’s a hilarious video folks – enjoy it. :D

http://linkis.com/tennisworldusa.org/Zkenz


FedExpress Says:

i dont care who wins as long as Fed wins. Fed shouldnt be afraid of any of them. He is confident.


J.S. Says:

HAHA I don’t care who wins in finals as long as Rafa wins today~
I cheered Roger on yesterday, help me w/ Rafa today, LOL


FedExpress Says:

2 BPs saved by nadal

same pattern as alwas. FH to BH, FH to BH, FH to BH, winner/UE


J.S. Says:

YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
COME ON BABY!!!


Anto Says:

Nice start from Rafa. Nadal leads 4-1


FedExpress Says:

NID


J.S. Says:

OMG I AM SO EXCITED!!!
Love ME SOME Rafa – Seriosously I need RA RAFA ANONYMOUS

Yummy Stuff :)


Anto Says:

@JS me too


Anto Says:

hope dont care who wins the final as long as Rafa win today.


J.S. Says:

YES ANTO
Rafa just needs to win today!!!
GO RAFA GO RAFA VAMMMMMOSSSSS!


Anto Says:

Easy hold for Nadal.


Anto Says:

I am still nervous when Nadal tries to serve out the set/match


Willow Says:

Anto your not the only one lol ….


Willow Says:

Yes ….


Anto Says:

Yeah Nadal won the first set. Nadal really serving good so far.


Daniel Says:

Catch it was already started but I think I didn’t saw Nadal made a single Unforced Error😱😱

If he keeps this form he will win today and finals in straights. This match will fine tune hos FH to BH game. Unless he is nervous in finals, because no signs here. Playing great

Grigor had a few awesome BH but that’s it.


FedExpress Says:

have faith in Fed. And Nadal has his lapses. Starts well and fades away. He made nearly every low percentage shot. cant keep it up for all 3 sets.


Willow Says:

Rafa hasnt got to the final yet, i mean i hope he does, but im not going to count any chickens just yet, long way to go, BO5 as well ….


J.S. Says:

I AGREE NOT WORRIED ABOUT FED/NADAL FINAL….
Rafa needs to win this in straight sets, SO NERVOUS!!!
COME ON SWEETIE!!


FedExpress Says:

see. Nadals level dropped
0-30


Anto Says:

DImitrov playing better now. Broke nadal to love.


J.S. Says:

rafa down 3-1 SHITTTTTTT


Daniel Says:

Diminserve deserted him. Have to save BP’s


FedExpress Says:

Grisha has balls. Big balls.


FedExpress Says:

break back. okay.


Daniel Says:

Playing a full game of second serves and eventually Nadal broke back.


Willow Says:

Back on serve, love that BH DTL from Nadal ;-) ….


Anto Says:

Yeah Rafa broke bag, thanks to dimitrovs double fault. But to rafa’s credit he earned the break point with that amazing backhand pass.


J.S. Says:

OMG HE DID IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is so amazing and sick to watch – gotta love the pressure he puts on his opponents….serving to be back in IT!!! WOOOHOOOO


J.S. Says:

ANTO – BACK HAND PASS!!! Mcenroe just said “how does he make that shot”
LOL


FedExpress Says:

Nadal not as brilliant as in the first set. Short FH but grisha is nervous as hell


Anto Says:

Nadal in trouble now.


FedExpress Says:

BP Dimi

Fed shouldnt fear Nadal in this form. He has to know that Nadal cant keep the form over 3 sets.


Daniel Says:

Wow, returned the favor exactly the same way, DF down BP after up 40-15 in that game. Unusual for Nadal

Let’s see of Dimi serves the set out.


Anto Says:

And now he gifts the break back. Now I dont think nadal breaking dimi now. So lets just hope he can improve his intensity in the third.


FedExpress Says:

Break DIMI.

Serving for the set

hahahaha. some thought this would be over in 3 sets.


Daniel Says:

15-40. Two good serves Nadal returned and he done nothing, should gabe come to net on those loop returns.

Well, now Dimi unrevealling, third straight break. 5-4


Willow Says:

Fedexpress and you were one of them i believe ? ….


FedExpress Says:

OH DIMI. WTF are you doing


Anto Says:

And dimitrov gifts the break back. Dimi is nervous it seems.


J.S. Says:

Back on Serve….could be over in 3 if Rafa goes to 2-0 – we will see….
Crazy Set!!!

Not sure FED can play Rafa…but RAFA NEEDS TO GET THERE FIRST! :)


J.S. Says:

Back on Serve….could be over in 3 if Rafa goes to 2-0 – we will see….
Crazy Set!!!

Not sure FED can play Rafa…but RAFA NEEDS TO GET THERE FIRST! :)


FedExpress Says:

why cant fed play rafa?
Rafas FH barely reaches the net in this set.


Anto Says:

Good point by dimi


Anto Says:

Set point for dimi.


FedExpress Says:

SP Grigor


Anto Says:

What a point from Nadal to save the set point


Willow Says:

That was gutsy from Rafa down SP ….


Anto Says:

Another set point for dimi


FedExpress Says:

another SP


Anto Says:

Save that one also.


FedExpress Says:

Shankerov


J.S. Says:

FEDEXPRESS – Sorry….I actually would be happy for Roger if he won AO.
I JUST NEED RAFA TO GET THERE!! :)


FedExpress Says:

another SP

hope this isnt the repeat of the 2nd set vs raonic. Dimi deserves this set.


J.S. Says:

OMG This is the deciding set?? YES OR NO??


gonzalowski Says:

Dimitrov seems physically stronger than Nadal
(that is, very strong)
Another set point… :(


Daniel Says:

Fourth set point, can he break it now?!


FedExpress Says:

saved again. this game could break dimis resilince


Anto Says:

OMG what a time to bring up the ace


Daniel Says:

And the wirst is that Nadal will break dimi third straight time if he holds.


Anto Says:

Wow game point for nadal. Come on Nadal


J.S. Says:

BTW – RAFA IS SOAKING WET, JUST A LITTLE INFO!!
BACK TO 5-5 OMG


Anto Says:

Wow what a hold by nadal


FedExpress Says:

he holds. wow. big big big chance wasted.

raonic all over again.


gonzalowski Says:

4 set points saved 5-5
Boxing combat this past game
I fear Rafael to end exhausted after this


J.S. Says:

I THINK IT WILL BE TIE BREAKER?? NO?


Daniel Says:

He needs big serves. To tense to play points now


FedExpress Says:

He is mentally shattered. the way he broke the first time he has played since. occasion got to him.


J.S. Says:

I don’t think Rafa is ever exhausted…he is a machine! Unbelievable


FedExpress Says:

NID.


Van orten Says:

Dimitrov must take his chances. Nadal is way too short all the time


Daniel Says:

The best for Dimi would be broke amd start serving third set. Hope he gest tiebreak. Losing this ser after serving for the set and missed all those set points will ruin Dimi’s chance. At least be 1-1 to have some drama.


Anto Says:

Dimi holds. So it is either a tiebreaker or the set to dimi. It would really be great for nadal if he wins the tiebreaker if it goes there. Cos recently he is losing so much (even though he won the last tiebreaker he played)


FedExpress Says:

Fed must like his chances now.


Willow Says:

2 SP Dimi 5th one ….


Anto Says:

Another two set points for dimi


Daniel Says:

Double set point. Thisnos do or die for him. Of he misses this oportunities and goes to tiebreak nadla will have the momentum


Anto Says:

And he takes this one.


Daniel Says:

Nadal got tense, missing shots long. Also Dimi is returning almost all serves. 1-1 now we have a match


FedExpress Says:

I repeat. Fed shoudlnt be afraid to face either of them. 50-50 match.

It was clear that Nadal cant sustain that level from the first set.


Anto Says:

Now dimi will be more confident. I hope Nadal ups his game or it gonna get tricky.


J.S. Says:

But Roger went 5 SO maybe it will go the same…. on RAFA


Anto Says:

Dimi going for his shots now


J.S. Says:

ops “come on rafa”


Anto Says:

Well this second set is very much proof that the match aint over until its over.


J.S. Says:

I am SO nervous!!! YIKES


Daniel Says:

DF, 15-40 and Nadal thanks


Anto Says:

Dimitrov saved both with some really good first serves.


Daniel Says:

Great hold after a lucky net cord, but he went for the winner FH DTL. Finally a game where he served his way out.

This third set is more vital for Dimi than Nadal. We know that even if Nadal loses this set he’ll always have chances and can win in 5. So Dimi, but less likely, hence if he intends to make his first Slam finals he needs this set. Specially holding to add pressure on Nadal later on as he serves first.


Daniel Says:

Dimi’s DTL Shots, both FH and BH are a joy to watch.


Daniel Says:

Dimi playing with fire last game, this time got an excelent serve at 30-30, Nadal returned and he missed a sitter. Now error and got broken.
Nadal serving 3-2


Anto Says:

Nadal broke dimi. Now lets c Nadal can hold this out.


Willow Says:

Daniel do you want a Fedal final, or are you not really bothered, sorry no harm or foul, just curious, i believe Federer does ? ;-) ….


Willow Says:

Both players are nervous ….


Anto Says:

Wow nadal have only won 46% of second serve.


Anto Says:

Looks like nadal in trouble again.


Anto Says:

Nadal must be more aggressive It seems.


Anto Says:

Saved one.


Anto Says:

Nice point by nadal to save the second break point


Anto Says:

Nadal nervous now


Anto Says:

Dimitrov being really calm and patient


Anto Says:

Nadal broken again. Things not looking good for nadal.


Berghain Says:

Omg this is nerve-racking! I don’t have a horse in the race but I feel nervous for both players!


Willow Says:

Imagine how they must be feeling Berghain lol ;-) ….


Willow Says:

Tennis and football are the same for me in regard like Courbon says you can relax more when you have no horse left in the race ….


Berghain Says:

haha Willo true true. Was gonna have some lunch but my stomach is in a knot! gonna have to wait for this match to finish before I can eat. Going partying tonight so I need my strength, this is to exciting though!


Daniel Says:

I wanted this match to ve competitive first, and it is, for no finalist to arrive with any advantage.

Want a Fedal for the saudosism effect, but love Dimi’s game (how could’t I as he is a version pf Fed’s game). His strokes are gorgeous and Inwant him to obercome
His mental demons and be a Slam winner also.

Slight edge to Dimi making finals. Would rather Fed lose to him than Nadal.


Daniel Says:

Dimi’s first serve deserted him this game 40-40. Danger


Berghain Says:

Rafa should of been more patient in that game… Lost opportunity!


Berghain Says:

lol german commentators saying someone in the crowd has become unconscious – looks like this is all to much for some folks…


Daniel Says:

Tiebreak will be tense, more so than this match already is


Daniel Says:

What is happening, TV didn’t show?

Somebody felt sick and is having treatment


Anto Says:

OMG this is getting really nervous


FedExpress Says:

come on dimi.


Anto Says:

Will nadal can hold this after what happend in 2nd set?


Daniel Says:

Agree, Nadal lost an oportunity there and made FH errors, similar as how he lost second set. Dimincan capitiloze on him beeing nervous


Berghain Says:

What the hell is going on? if someone is not fit enough to attend a tennis match they should stay home! ridiculous.


Willow Says:

Berghain but you dont know when sickness will effect you though sometimes, BTW i think i owe you an apology for some of the things ive said to you this past week ….


FedExpress Says:

that delay break helped nadal a lot.


Anto Says:

Nadal unable to hold the mini break again.


Willow Says:

Dear me i feel sick ….


Daniel Says:

Dimi can’t find a decent serve this breaker


Van orten Says:

No first serves . No chance against Rafa


Anto Says:

Nadal making unforced errors in crucial moments


Van orten Says:

What an error Jesus


Anto Says:

Nadal you are awesome.


Van orten Says:

Choke choke choke …. more chance vs nadal almost impossible to achieve. Oh boy it’s gonna be so tough again on Sunday


J.S. Says:

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

OMG I AM GOING TO THROW UP!!! GETTING TRASH CAN!


Daniel Says:

Nadal made a BH at 5-5 that was insane after an attack from Dimi. That won him the set.

Dimi couldn’t miss that FH also and played behind whole toebreak.

Now Nadal will relax more and serve first fourth set. Can’t see Diminholding much longer. He has shots but was broken in all sets, won’t be different in fourth. There time seems he doesn’t have a big serve at all.


Berghain Says:

wow amazing set! can Nadal keep this level up for one more set to win the match?


J.S. Says:

DANIEL
I HOPE YOU ARE RIGHT!! TY TY TY
YAY FOR MY RAFA


FedExpress Says:

nadal you lucker
cant see dimi comeback from this. invested so much for nothing.


FedExpress Says:

funny how much choking is going on vs nadal when he plays garbage


Van orten Says:

Of course nadal will win now . He absorbs the energy of his opponents. Nadal spraying forehands and playing way too short all the time and dimitrov just not capitalizing yet . I guess it’s not that easy vs nadal but come on nadal is not the same as he was anymore. At least his forehand is not


J.S. Says:

FEDEXPRESS YOU COULD SAY SAME ABOUT ROGERS MATCH.
NOT A TIME TO BE NEGATIVE!!!! SORRY NOT SORRY


Humble Rafa Says:

Calling new fans..you can trust me on break points and set points.


Anto Says:

@Van I still believe he hitting forehands in the middle of the court is because he is getting nervous which would never have happened pre 2014


Daniel Says:

At least dimi held his serve. Seems they eant a faster set. 2-1 quickly


Berghain Says:

At this point if I was Demitrov I would just try keep Nadal on the court as long as possible. Demitrov is younger and more fit.


FedExpress Says:

if pouille can do it you can do it too man

came close to play five setters vs murray in 15 i think. before that vs nole n 14. he has ti believe


Daniel Says:

Today his FH cross court is working and BH also, bit indeed, His FH DTL is not what is was nor his inside out, he made a few and missed several. I think there was one poot he had more FH errors than dimitrov, but otoh on BH sode Dimi has more than double.


Daniel Says:

What an awful volley


Daniel Says:

Agaisnt Nadal also in AO 2014


FedExpress Says:

cant help but think that the delay helped nadal more than dimi.


Humble Rafa Says:

Some people who are very arrogant wish they had Choky’s single handed backhand..one that works.


Humble Rafa Says:

Start taking your heart medication early now so you can be ready for Sunday.


FedExpress Says:

Hope feds team learned one or two things from this match. he is far from unbeatable. fed has to take oppurtunities when they arrive.


Daniel Says:

Nadal played great saving this 15-30 game, Dimi was agressive. 3-2 and no BP so far


Willow Says:

HR not there yet, only time i was ever this nervous was on my wedding day to Mr Willow, nearly peeing my pants lol ….


Anto Says:

I just hope Nadal breaks Dimi and hold his service games. I can’t take another tiebreaker.


Willow Says:

Me too Anto ….


Anto Says:

Nadal break dimi now.


Daniel Says:

Dimi is servig weak. No pop


Anto Says:

Nadal still not able to muster a break point


FedExpress Says:

this 20 sec rule is a joke if not applied sufficiently
dimi is physically empty. so much running has to take its toll


Anto Says:

This set is still pretty much even


Van orten Says:

Another chance for dimi gone again nadal spraying his forehand and playing short . In my opinion he is not targeting Rafa’s forehand enough


Daniel Says:

Pressure time for Dimi from now on, serving down 3-4. Too many 30-30 game son both sodes but nobody gave a BP still.

Hate being right but think Nadal gest a BP or MP in oke of next 2 games. Dimi just unreveals under pressure. He basically won that second set because Nadal gave break back with DF and was broken to lose the set.


FedExpress Says:

hope fed will van orten


Anto Says:

Now we are getting more and more longer rallies.


Berghain Says:

God this is Brutal! if Nadal wins this set and the match… Is he gonna be ok for the final?? what do you all think???


Daniel Says:

First moment of tension for Dimi, serving down 4-5 to stat alive, if he survives will have to serve down 5-6 to force a breaker. Be able to winna tievreak and force a fifth would be ideal for him, start serving first. But he has to hold 2 more times to give himsef a chance still.

Let’s see how he serve, last game he served great. Hope he keeps it up and doesn’t oscilate


Willow Says:

Berghain i honestly dont know what to think anymore , its been a funny tournament to say the least, not in a ha ha sense though ….


FedExpress Says:

dont worry berghain, he fills up his energy when he sees fed on the other side of the net.


Willow Says:

I Suppose theres a days rest for him to regroup for the final if he gets there that is ? …


Daniel Says:

Wow!! 5-5


Anto Says:

No break points yet in this set. This can get really tense if it goes to tiebreaker.


Anto Says:

30-30 it getting tense


Daniel Says:

Pressure moment #2 for Dimi, servig down 5-6 to force a breaker. Can he do it and serve like he did last time?! Hope so


Anto Says:

Nadal holds after an fantastic rally at 30 all


FedExpress Says:

Struggledal will win it.

Amazing, that with this shiitty and patchy form he can win the AO. kudos to him. Will to fight and win.


Daniel Says:

C’mon dimi 40-0 DF. One more point


Daniel Says:

2 great games. Hope he plays a better tb


Anto Says:

So tiebreaker it is. Gosh I just hope nadal can take it. Else I am not so sure about the fifth set


Daniel Says:

Minibreak. Time to serve


Anto Says:

Oh shit dimi with a mini break


Anto Says:

Dimi leading 4-2 this does not look good for Rafa


Daniel Says:

5-2. Great open serve. Now go on and get at least one mpre minibreak just for insurrance


Daniel Says:

6-3 triple set point ot force a fifth. Flawless tiebreak by Dimin so far


Berghain Says:

omg omg omfg !!!


Anto Says:

OMG this is gonna be tough


Willow Says:

OMG A 5th set eek ….


Daniel Says:

Damm, what a tense match. Spectacular!!!

Diminos brave, serve and volley to surprise on first set point dos not work he went on and change serve and went for down the T instead of going to open serve which was workig and surprise Nadal who couldn’t return. Diminserving first fifth and is great to see his mental attitued and how he handle the end of this set. Really coming of age for him. Regardless of what happen seems now under Dani he is here to stayand contend for top.

2 semis in five sets, what more could we ask.


Willow Says:

Doubt Dimi can beat Rafa and Federer B2B, if Dimi wins this and gets to the final, GS number 18 for Federer i would think ….


Daniel Says:

But now 0-30, small let down after the set. Has to regroup and serve


Daniel Says:

Wow, he loves this shots, FH DTL on the run down BP after 4 hours


Tennis Vagabond Says:

WHAT A RUNNING FOREHAND DOWN BREAK POINT BY GRIGOR!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Just turned this on for the 4th set tiebreak, this is exciting tennis!


Margot Says:

Fab match again for us neutrals.
So glad gorgeous Grig is finally coming of age.


Daniel Says:

Now Nadal decided to go for this return winnera, wtf


Daniel Says:

Another BP. Serve


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Never seen Dmitrov at this level before, I finally get what people see in him.


Daniel Says:

Great hold. Now go on and break


squirrel Says:

gorgeous Grig…hehe, can’t say it better, he really is..


squirrel Says:

@TV

Yeah me too, finally got it, he really does have immense talents. Whether he wins or not, hope he’s going to improve more. I still think Nadal will win!


Willow Says:

Hello Squirrel nice to see you here ;-) …..


Daniel Says:

How can they mantain this level this far?! Awesome


Daniel Says:

After a fourth set with no BP they now excahnge chances


Daniel Says:

He fell, hit back and won with a winner?!?!


Daniel Says:

Dimi rainmaker


Tennis Vagabond Says:

WHAT?? Dmitrov is making me a fan right now! I came into this hoping for Rafa, but he’s moved me to neutrality.


Anto Says:

Omg what a point by dimi


Daniel Says:

TV, Dimingas te sane talent as the young Federer. Federer was a better volleyr and slight serve but Dimi’s BH is better. He only lacked mental fortitued, which seems he is reaching there


Anto Says:

Dimi holding server better than nadal now. Nadal has to really work for each and every point.


Willow Says:

This match reminds me alot of the Nadal / Verdasco semi in 2009 ….


Daniel Says:

Damm Dimi, 30-0 losing 3 points. BP


Daniel Says:

Antoger great hold. Seems tbhis set is going to be even more tense then previous two because there are some BP’s and as soon as set gets close to possoble finisj line the tension will be even higher


Anto Says:

Shit nadal lost another good oppurtunity to break dimi


Daniel Says:

Easy hold. This adds pressure to Dimi 3-3


FedExpress Says:

will dimi crack under the pressure first?


Daniel Says:

Nadal return two shots to both corners


Daniel Says:

Antoher 30-30


Margot Says:

I’m thrilled for gorgeous Grig. Have always been a fan but was really irritated with him when all the stardust seemed to be getting in his eyes.
His back hand is really withstanding the pulverising it’s getting.
Can he do it? Ooooer tense moments now. I think Rafa will come through, just more experience at this level in slams.


squirrel Says:

Hi Willow,

Thanks for welcoming me. Crossing my fingers for your guy to make it to Final, he so deserves it, what a fighter! Entertaining match so far, hope you enjoy it :)


Daniel Says:

4-3 Dimi.
Nadal serving forst time under pressure, a break and Dimi could serve for the match


Anto Says:

I cant handle the pressure


J-Kath Says:

Trouble with Dimi is he goes through hot periods and then dips. 2-3 years ago he was on a real high for about 6 months.

During his relationship with Sharapova his tennis took a bashing. So is he back? If he beats Rafa can he take the same form into the final?

In any event, I’m routing for Nadal – I would love him to reach the final.


Willow Says:

Squirrel only time i was ever this nervous was when i got married, i dont know if he will win here, i hope he does, but Grigors playing awesome, so although i will be emotionally gutted, i will give credit where its due ….


Daniel Says:

Wow Nadal saving those BP’s. Now pressur eon dimi who has to quickly forget about it


Willow Says:

What mental toughness there from Nadal ….


Daniel Says:

NAdal’s momentum now


Daniel Says:

DF, match over, 0-30 and Dimi felted ot last game. 6 staright points to Nadal


Daniel Says:

No first serves for Grigor, BP. Truth time


squirrel Says:

@Willow

Oh what a great fan of tennis you are :)


squirrel Says:

Nadal breaks!


Daniel Says:

Nadal serving for the match. Dimi cracked forst as expected.

Anyway, hos fourth set was great.


Willow Says:

Squirrel thanks, at this point i keep forgetting to breath, im shaking that much i can hardly type, and i have to go to work, and look after 27 old people, oh dear lol ….


Daniel Says:

That 15-40 brokenDimi. Better if he hadn’t it because he then start thinking on finosh line


squirrel Says:

@Willow

Look after 27 old people? What do you do?

Well, you’re going to go to work happy because Nadal is winning :)


Daniel Says:

Wow, 30-30. What a first passing shot down his feet


J.S. Says:

OMG OMG OMG
THIS IS BETTER THAN SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Willow Says:

Squirrel im a care assistant ….


Docmed Says:

Do u think nadal will win federer.no?


Daniel Says:

Ace Nadal, really?
Grigor doesn’t want to lose at all. Saved 1 MP


Willow Says:

J.S Then you must be doing it wrong lol ….


squirrel Says:

@Willow

Such a caring job!
Match point Nadal! :)


Docmed Says:

@js how so?


squirrel Says:

J.S Then you must be doing it wrong lol ….

hahaha you’re too funny :)


squirrel Says:

Congrats Willow and J.S.

Fedal final it is! Let’s go Federer!!!!


Daniel Says:

Fedal it is. Hostoric AO, best match of the tourney so far.

Nadal served great this game. Back to a Slam final after 12 tries. What a vintage come back for these greats.

Hope for another cracker of a final. 18-14 or 15-17. GOATness hitting up


Berghain Says:

Wow congratulations to all Nadal fans. What a match!!!


FedExpress Says:

So Fed. its yours to lose now.


Docmed Says:

Fedexpress stop being negative federer will win in four sets.in the final.no worries.


Navdeep Says:

omggggggg……… what a match!
I can’t believe Rafa can still fight like this. But heart goes to Dimitrov . What a performance by these two. I m shaking !


Margot Says:

Congrats to Rafa and all his fans especially Willow, Ok, Am And even Giles.
He must be really pleased to come through that fiery furnace.
So pleased for GG tho., played a poor first set then fought and fought till the last point.
He’ll be back deep in slams I’m sure.
Fab match, so even and anybody’s till 4-4 in 5th.


J-Kath Says:

Great joy and happiness to Willow, AMira, Okiegal, and to the effervescent JS and others.


Navdeep Says:

The best grandslam in a long long time


FedExpress Says:

3rd set was key for dimi. delay shifted the momentum a little bit.

Fed has to do the business now and look what worked for nadal. he cant do the mistakes everytime again.

nadal has to feel the tiredness at some point on sunday. he isnt 23 anymore like in 2009 where he played 5 five setters back to back


Willow Says:

J-Kath / Margot / Berghain etc thankyou, cannot put into words how happy i feel right at this moment , after losing first round last year, this was more than i can ever have hoped for, no matter what happens now ….


J.S. Says:

I AM SO HAPPY!!! I DONT EVEN CARE WHO WINS – EPIC


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Happy for you Willow! What a match!

Rafa looked indomitable. Very similar feel to the end of the Fed/Stan match: each winner just took on an aura of invincibility at the end of the 5th set. Grigor took it on remarkably well, but Rafa just looked like he refused to be beat.

What a story!


Willow Says:

Squirrel may the best man win, go Rafa lol ;-) ….


Nits Says:

Dimitrov is ready now for sure. The way he never faded really amazed me. Zverev is a real deal too. Watch out for them after clay season. One of them will get a master or a GS maybe. Really pleased as a tennis fan today. Both semifinals going down the line. Wow!!!!!


Willow Says:

Thankyou Tennis Vagabond, you really dont have a nasty bone in your body, congrats to Federer too who has looked awesome this fortnight, i can watch Sundays final in peace, as i dont have to go to work YIPEEEE ;-) ….


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath
@Margot
Thanks you guys! I didn’t know if he was gonna pull this off or not. Gregory just kept coming at him and stubborn Rafa wouldn’t stand for it. It was a great match……Gregory is awesome and on his way up…..what a little fighter he is. You could tell the Aussie fans are delighted that it’s going to be a Fedal final……two amazing champions!!!


Okiegal Says:

^^^^^Grigor not Gregory..


Navdeep Says:

Fedal final…….wow good old days are back


RF Says:

Fed has an advantage because of the one extra day off. Granted the same thing happened in 2009 too but as Fed Express pointed out, Nadal was 23 back then. Fed wins in 4 sets in the final.


Van orten Says:

What a match nadal won it with an incredible performance . Dimi lost It at 15:40 3:4 . He had the chance to play into the nadal forehand over and over again but he didn’t . The Rest is history

Well now Sunday … after so many losses to djoker and nadal in gs finals hard to feel positiv about rogers chances. He will have to take every chance possible because nadal is unforgiving


AndyMira Says:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!YEAH!!!!!!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

LOVE U RAFA!!!!!!!!…

M,JK…..THANK U THANK U THANK U FOR YOUR GOOD WISHES!!!WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

PS…Only J.S can think about S@# when rafa was play tennis!!Ha ha ha ha..I hope she’s not horny now!!ha ha ha…


Nits Says:

New synonym stubborn =nadal


Michael Says:

Well done Rafa, bad luck Dmitrov. Both the players didn’t deserve to lose and yet you need a winner and so as usual Rafa came up with the goods when really needed and emerged triumphant.

It was a day when Rafa was playing below his best while Dmitrov was on the top of his form hitting winners at will coupled with low UEs and that is a deadly combo. Yet despite producing his best, he fell short due to the indomitable will and tenacity of Rafa not to give up on the face of any adversity. It is this incredible will power which is his forte.


Anto Says:

Hell yeah!! We are finally having a Fedal final after almost 6 years. OMG I still cant believe Rafa played this amazing and even more amazed at the fact that dimitrov just didn’t back down. Wow what a match!!


Anto Says:

@Michael I don’t think Rafa can play much better than he did today (at least this “post 2014 Rafa”). May be a little bit better, ie without hitting those forehand unforced errors in some of the break points he had.


AndyMira Says:

Oh God!I can’t believe rafa on the verge to add to his 15th!And Rog with his 18th!Oh my God!I will be very happy for Rog if he win..and will be a thousand times happier if rafa win!..Woooohoooo!!Vamos rafa!!Love u love u love u..


Van orten Says:

Nadal played below his best ???? That is pretty delusional, he played far better than anyone expected, his days of forehandglory are over ; you attack his forehand you can win the match


AndyMira Says:

@Anto…Rafa CAN play better..and he always produce his BEST tennis when at the other end is Roger Federer…You’ll see…Today his trademark FH DTL and sometimes CC failed him multiple times..Serves also not clicked very well and that’s what makes him so unsettled especially in 2nd sets..But different rafa will emerge on sunday..


Michael Says:

Chris @ 11.56 pm,

Made some good observations. But Novak will definitely be back as the slide is only temporary. He is still young and has atleast three years good Tennis left in him. His best is more to come in my opinion. Will he dominate like he did in earlier years remains to be seen.

Who is tougher is a matter of perception. However, there is a valid case that Rafa is the toughest of the lot just because of the number of successful comebacks he has made in his career which is the toughest thing in Tennis which is a game of rhythm.


Michael Says:

@Anto, Rafa was making far too many UEs at crucial moments and that is something unlike Rafa, which you too pointed out.


Daniel Says:

Things Fed can do better than Dimi is serve and he takes the ballon the rise more so than Dimi. Also he sure eill come in more than Dimi to actaully follow up approach shots and some serve and volleys. Also his sloce has more venon.

But he doesn’t have the stamina dimi Showed today nor thos einsar BH DTL constantly.

Regard match time I think the extra days fed have balance the age difference. Both played 5 sets and Nadal always plays longer. But this match was way more grinding than Fed’s. Foirth set Fed Stan for example was ober in a hurry, that was like a five settwr the looked like a tuff fourth set. Today was gruelling all over.


Margot Says:

@Michael
Disagree with you there. Dimi gave away the first set and served double faults at very crucial times. He is very inexperienced at this level and it showed.
He can certainly get much better at match savvy level for a start. Before October last year he had zero confidence as well. He’s come a long way.


jane Says:

congrats rafa… wow.
the faster courts on RLA this year favour fed, so he may get this one. plus the extra recovery day.


madmax Says:

What an incredible, EPIC match. I was watching this at work, with a colleague of mine and literally, we could not breath – absolutely INSANE tennis. In the back of my mind, I really though that Rafa would win – because he never, gives up, but WHAT A PERFORMANCE FROM DIMI. Was this the match where he really ‘came of age?’

I really think so. Absolutely awesome tennis for sheer fight, passion and skill.

This was real heart by both players.


Lodhi Says:

They shouldn’t play the AO final. It would be a travesty to search for a winner. Proposal: Cut the AO trophy into three pieces, one for Fed, one for Rafa, and one for my buddy skeezer for the amazing belief that he has shown for Fed over the years during his trials and tribulations.


Daniel Says:

Nadal started pretty strong, not msising anything, but as is a pattern latelly he can’t maintain that level. Not even on tainic marh where he won in straights he couldn’t sustain like Fed dis agaisnt Berdych.

But we don’t know which Fed will show up infinal? berdy, Zverev or Wawa, Kei. And which Rafa and how this match will affect him.

One thing I know, last time Nadal won an epic AO semis we all know what happend in finals and he gets the same opponent. Much different 8 year gap.


madmax Says:

And now, I hope for a fantastic final between THE two greats of the game – in all seriousness, WHO would have thought that these two would have met in a final with the dominance of Novak for so long and then Andy being World Number 1?

I had absolutely no expectations at all. I was so thrilled that Roger was back on tour. Who knows whether his recovered knee would have had an impact on his game – but now, with his sheer tour de force in this tournament is nothing short of a miracle.

Same goes for Rafa, with the acculumation of his injuries over the years – and yet, to play with such power – not the same, yet, enough. Enough of the old Rafa to stake a claim that he is still here, and still capable of winning at the highest level.

Roger and his fans, are so, so proud of him in this tournament. When I read that Rod Laver had said that he thought Roger would go deep, I don’t even think that he thought he would do this well.

Roger is back. I am thrilled and I cannot wait until Sunday.

What a final this will be!

No excuses. This is Roger’s time. I have goose pimples already!


madmax Says:

Daniel,

“One thing I know, last time Nadal won an epic AO semis we all know what happend in finals and he gets the same opponent. Much different 8 year gap.”

January 27th, 2017 at 10:42 am

That was THEN. This is NOW.

2009 – My heart died that day.

This Sunday, it could be different. It has to be. Whatever the result – it could not be better that these two share this moment together. It’s a pretty emotional moment for Roger, Rafa and both sets of fans.


Ven Says:

@Michael
Agree with u, his UE error high compared to his other. , matchs that to FH UE’s are high, com’n RAFA make it 15


courbon Says:

Congrats to all Rafa fans-another entertaining match.
Well, I would like Rafa to win in the final but something tells me Roger takes this one…


Daniel Says:

Maybe Federer plays more freely this time. But also, the urgency and sense that both won´t have this kind of orportunites anymore make them tense.
At least for Fed he knwos his window is closing. But if he can play loke this firts tourney back, imagine what he can do in Wimby if helathy and motivated. He will have a sht there also. together with Murray, Djoko, Raonic and Dimi as the favorites.

And Nadal will sure contend for RG again regardless of what happens Sunday. Now he is gonna take this mosnter of not playing a GS final again out of his head and can play better for the rest of the year. I will gove both a sense or relief and renewed selfbelieve.


Anto Says:

@MIchael,
Yeah I said that he can be may be a little bit better. But as far as the “way too many unforced errors in crucial moments” are concerned. you have to remember this is not the rafa of old anymore he nowadays makes lots of unforced errors even in crucial stages especially against someone who can defend really well. You just have to agree that Dimitrov was really playing good defensively also.


Michael Says:

@ Margot,

And Dmitrov too equally floundered at crucial moments and that is the reason Rafa won as otherwise may be, he would have finished the job in 4 sets to reach his first slam final which would be the biggest breakthrough of his career which promised much, but failed to deliver.


Michael Says:

@ Anto,

Agree. And therein lies the great chance for Roger who needs to capitalize on them if he wishes to turnaround this lop sided H2H which is such a big embarrassment for him given the reputation and recognition that he has in the game as a living legend.


madmax Says:

Michael Says:
@ Anto,

Agree. And therein lies the great chance for Roger who needs to capitalize on them if he wishes to turnaround this lop sided H2H which is such a big embarrassment for him given the reputation and recognition that he has in the game as a living legend.

January 27th, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Michael – embarrassment? What can he do? Make the final and win or make the final and lose? We go into this ‘how many tournaments of the grand slams, are on clay?’ – but you know, who cares! They are both in the final and very much loved by a huge, huge fan base around the world.

They are both the Epitome of class and camaraderie!


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