Australian Open 2017: Rafael Nadal to face Grigor Dimitrov in semis

Written by: IANS
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Melbourne, Jan 25: Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, January 25, eased past Belgian David Goffin 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes to march into the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Federer to face Wawrinka in semis

Dimitrov, unbeaten in 2017, recently won the fifth title of his career after defeating Japanese Kei Nishikori at the Brisbane International.

Rafael Nadal (Image courtesy: Australian Open Twitter handle)

Wednesday's result means he has reached his second ever Grand Slam semi-final, after Wimbledon three years ago.

After reaching the Australian Open semis, Dimitrov said: "I've set some high goals for myself this year, and I want to keep getting better and better."

The 15th seed, the first Bulgarian to make the semi-finals of a Slam on more than one occasion, will face Rafael Nadal who defeated third-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.

File photo: Grigor Dimitrov

Ninth-seeded Nadal comfortably defeated Raonic 6-4 7-6(7) 6-4 in the quarter-final match. Nadal targeted Raonic's backhand early on, a tactic from fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya, a former World No.1 and Raonic's former coach now working with Nadal, reports

Raonic saved one break point in the fifth game but lost his serve by striking an overhead long to gift Nadal a 4-3 lead.

Nadal's 12 winners, nine of 10 net points won, and just two unforced errors highlighted a dominant display in the 43-minute opening set.

Raonic took an off-court medical time-out when he led 3-2 in the second set.

Nadal suddenly lost his confidence from there, and at 4-5 he recovered to save three set points.

Two stunning pieces of anticipation at 3-3 in the second set tie-break helped Raonic open a lead, but more set point chances went begging at 6-4 and 7-6.

Three straight forehand errors by Raonic saw him walk to his chair after a pulsating 81-minute second set, which Nadal eventually claimed.

Raonic recently beat the 14-time Grand Slam champion in the quarter-finals of the recent Brisbane International.

Here is a video of Rafael Nadal's winning moment:


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