Australian Open 2017 Men's Final

Tennis champ Andy Roddick is confident that not only Federer will have a great tour, but that a match against Rafael Nadal in the Final would be "the most significant match ever". His return ensures there will be three 30-somethings in the men's semifinals, equalling the Open era mark set at Roland Garros in 1968. The last time they did so on a relatively neutral surface, unlike Paris's clay or London's lawn, was eight years ago, in the 2009 Australian Open-when Federer was 27 and Nadal 22.

"God, it's killing me", - that was Federer's remarks after losing a third major final in four against the Spaniard. And to compete against a player who knows his game best, Sydney Morning Herald said Federer needs to conquer his self-doubt first.

Federer and Nadal haven't faced each other in a Grand Slam final since the 2011 French Open, where Nadal beat Federer in four sets.

It was vintage Federer all of last week, as the 35-year-old reached the semifinals of the Australian Open for the 13th time in 14 years.

This is Nadal's fifth time in the semis as he prevented Raonic from matching his record of last year's tournament.

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After beating the Bulgarian 15th seed in nearly five hours, Nadal gave an emotional on-court issue to express his delight at getting another opportunity to face one of his greatest rivals in the final of a major.

Nadal's excellence in the first set and shakiness in the second largely dictated play, followed by the match becoming more of a back-and-forth dialogue in the final three sets, with both men coming huge to save multiple break points in the fifth set. Federer is 35, Nadal is 30, while Wawrinka is 31.

But with injuries piling up, Nadal's ability to summon his imposing best became less reliable. I was talking to myself, saying like, Just relax, man. "I feel lucky and very happy".

That he meets Federer there will be viewed as the flawless closing chapter to a throwback Australian Open, which now boasts four singles finalists aged 30 or older - a first for a grand slam in the Open era.

Dimitrov bravely saved two match points as Nadal served out for the match before the Spaniard clinched victory, sinking to his knees in relief and jubilation. But World No 15 Dimitrov fought back to take the second set 7-5.

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Fans of the former Wimbledon junior champion, and there will be thousands more after his Australian Open run, will hope Dimitrov can now sustain the form that fired him on a 10-match winning run at the start of 2017. "I really don't think about what happened in the past".

Federer last lifted a grand slam trophy at Wimbledon in 2012 while he hasn't won at Melbourne Park since 2010. "I feel a little bit in shock right now", she said.

Looking at their meetings to date, going back to 2004, what does the past tell us about the Federer-Nadal rivalry?

Nadal is also on the comeback trail having sidelined himself after the U.S. Open to recover from a wrist injury that forced his retirement from the 2016 French Open, despite "taking risks" to play the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where he took gold in the doubles.

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