By Caroline Cameron
For Roger Federer fans, it’s a crushing loss.
In their 27th career meeting, Rafael Nadal beat Federer 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the Australian Open semifinals. Nadal is now 18-9 against Federer.
Despite their match record, Federer came into the semis as the favourite. Federer ended 2011 on a 17 match win streak and appeared to be playing some of his best tennis in Melbourne with an impressive win over Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Nadal looked off leading up to the semis and he suffered an injury to his right knee just two weeks ago.
Federer started the match strong and appeared to be playing more aggressive than usual. His forehand was crushing and Nadal wasn’t able to control Federer’s backhand like he usually can by hitting high, topsin forehands. But after going up 4-1, Nadal responded. And although Federer won the first set, Nadal gained control. Federer is a good player when he is ahead but Nadal may be the greatest comeback player on tour and Rafa proved that in the semifinal.
“I’m disappointed, but it’s only the beginning of the season,” Federer explained in his post match interview. “I’m feeling all right, so it’s OK.”
I don’t buy it. I think Federer is crushed. This was his match to win and he lost.
So while Federer won’t add to his 16 Major titles in Melbourne, Nadal will look to win his 11th Grand Slam title in Sunday’s final.