Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray on Wednesday night in Melbourne to reach the 2014 Australian Open semifinals, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3. The win marks Federer’s 11th consecutive trip to the Aussie Open semis. The win sets up a semifinals encounter with world number one Rafael Nadal, a winner himself on Wednesday over Grigor Dimitrov, 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(7), 6-2. The semifinals match between the two will mark the pair’s 33rd career meeting, with Nadal holding a 22-10 lifetime edge against Federer.
"It's really a big pleasure for me being back in the semi-finals," said Federer. "This one feels different because of the tougher times I've had in Slams, Wimbledon, at the U.S. Open. It's nice to be back in the semis and defend my points from last year.”
Nadal, who was sidelined for last year’s Australian Open, is looking to win the title for the second time after his victory in 2009, and he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2012. Federer is bidding to win his 18th Grand Slam title and fifth Aussie Open, having lifted the trophy in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010.
"It was very important to win the third set," said Nadal of his encounter with Dimitrov. "You are coming back after the first set and winning the next two in both tie-breaks, is a tough moment mentally for the opponent. After that, if I am ready to stay strong at the beginning of the fourth, I know I'm going to have my chances. But it was an important moment. Finally it was decisive. If that ball, that forehand from him, had gone in and he had won the third, I was going to keep fighting, because I felt that I was ready for the fight. I was tired, but I think that he was tired, too. I will keep fighting until the end."
The other semifinals matchup will see the number seven seed, Tomas Berdych, facing the eight seed, Stanislas Wawrinka, who knocked off defending champ Novak Djokovic earlier in the week.