Live Commentary: Australian Open Semi-final – Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
© PA Photos
Live coverage of the Australian Open semi-final match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Australian Open semi-final match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer has won five out of nine meetings between the two on a hard court surface, and has shown signs of his best form in the tournament thus far.

The winner will face either Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic in the final in Melbourne.

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0-0: We are underway here at the Rod Laver Arena, with Federer to serve first.

1-0: Federer takes the first game of the match with a fine display of his serving ability. Nadal simply did not have a sniff.

0-2: Federer storms into a 2-0 lead in the match after eventually securing the game with a stunning backhand winner down the line. The former world number one is looking in some serious form in these early stages.

3-0: Federer takes a 3-0 lead in the set as he hits a series of drop shots and displays his apparent weakness, serve and volley.

1-3: Nadal secures his first game of the set on serve with Federer hitting long on more than one occasion. The Spaniard has simply not got going in this match thus far, but will be pleased to get a game on the board.

4-1: Federer storms into a 4-1 lead with another stunning cross court shot to secure the game. He is looking brilliant in these early stages.

2-4: Nadal secures his second game of the set despite the best efforts of Federer, who hit a quite brilliant shot across Nadal at 15-15.

3-4: Fantastic display of character from Nadal as he breaks back into the set, with Federer guilty of hitting the net all too often.

4-4: Yet another miss hit from Federer as Nadal holds serve to bring the set level at 4-4.

5-4: Three unforced errors from Nadal as Federer takes charge of the set on serve.

5-5: Federer fires into the net as Nadal levels the match at 5-5 in the first set.

6-5: Federer holds his serve to take a 6-5 lead in the match with a volley at the net. The Nadal camp will be unhappy with his forehand on occasion in this first set.

6-6: Another fine game between the two produces a wonderful moment with a Nadal shot down the line. We enter a tie-break in the first set after Federer hits the ball out.

Tie-break

1-0: 1-0 Federer in the tie-break as Nadal hits out.

1-2: Federer hits long for Nadal's first point of the tie-break.

4-1: Federer ace sends him 4-1 ahead.

3-4: Nadal aces to cut the score to 4-3.

5-3: Brilliant from Federer who comes into the net to volley the ball onto the baseline.

6-3: Another stunning shot for Federer who produces a drop shot at the net which Nadal simply cannot reach.

5-6: Massive forehand for Nadal who saves two set points.

7-5: Nadal hits out as Federer takes the first set 7-6 in just under an hour.

SET FEDERER 7-6 NADAL

0-1: Federer takes the first game of the set after a series of stunning shots, with Nadal failing to secure a point on his serve.

1-1: Nadal breaks right back into the set as Federer hits long on the final point.

2-1: This time Nadal does hold serve as he begins to play Federer around the court with his powerful forehand.

2-2: New balls are in play as Federer holds his serve with relative ease.

3-2: Federer misses the chance to break Nadal after leading three times in the game, but the Spaniard holds strong, staving off the best efforts from Federer to take a 3-2 lead in the set.

2-4: Another sensational display of tennis between the two players as Nadal hits the shot of the match at 0-30 to storm into a 0-40 lead in the game, eventually securing it with a brilliant passing shot.

5-2: Nadal serves well to race into a 5-2 lead in the set with Federer firing long on three separate occasions.

2-6: Nadal breaks the Federer serve in wonderful style to level the match at 1-1 in sets.

SET NADAL 6-2

1-0: Nadal secures the first game of the third set on serve with Federer showing signs of frustration after a Nadal cross-court backhand wins the game.

1-1: Federer saves three break points to secure the game in fighting style. Three times the game went to deuce with Nadal looking the favourite, but the world number three refused to be beaten with Nadal hitting the net in the final exchange.

2-1: Nadal holds serve in the third, with Federer hitting the net with a drop shot as the Spaniard moves into the lead.

2-2: Nadal fails to secure a single point as Federer serves to level the score at 2-2 in quick succession.

3-2: Nadal moves into a 3-2 lead in the third and seems intent on keeping the ball in play to test Federer's fitness. The third set remains on serve thus far.

3-3: Another quick game sees Federer secure his serve and level the game at 3-3, despite the 30-year-old serving his fourth double fault of the match and volleying wide after seeing the ball hit the net.

3-4: Federer breaks in the third set on his fourth break point of the game. Nadal looked certain at 30-0 ahead, but Federer had other ideas to place the pressure on Nadal in the third.

4-4: Nadal breaks straight back to level the score at 4-4 in the third. Nadal's forehand proved too much for Federer's defensive style with the match now back on serve.

5-4: Federer's unforced errors stand at 41 as Nadal holds serve to move ahead in the third set. The game also produced the longest rally of the match - 23 shots.

5-5: Federer holds his serve in confident style to level the match at 5-5. Could we be heading for another tie-break?

6-5: Nadal holds his serve despite the best efforts of Federer, who was 15-30 ahead in the game.

6-6: Federer again holds serve, starving off a set point for Nadal to send the match into a tie-break once more.

Tie-break

1-0: Nadal goes 1-0 ahead in the tie-break as Federer hits the net.

4-1: Nadal moves 4-1 ahead as Federer hits wide.

6-1: Nadal moves to within a point of the third set as Federer hits the net.

6-4: Federer answers back with three points to give him a fighting chance in the tie-break.

7-5: Nadal secures the third set as Federer can only find the net with a slice, to move into a 2-1 set lead.

SET NADAL 7-6 FEDERER

1-0: Federer opens up the fourth set with a hold of serve as he attempts to get back into the match.

1-1: Nadal answers straight back with a hold of serve despite the best efforts of Federer, who is clearly looking for an early break.

2-1: Federer holds serve as he begins to approach the net in regular style.

2-2: Nadal is looking stronger as the match advances, however, and holds with ease to keep the match on serve in the fourth.

3-2: Nadal hits a series of stunning passing shots but Federer holds on to serve out the fifth game and move ahead in the set.

3-3: Nadal keeps the set on serve to tie the game at 3-3 with a stunning passing shot at 30-0 a particular highlight.

4-3: Federer holds serve once more in confident style with his backhand proving too strong for Nadal.

4-4: Nadal holds serve in an eventful game in set four. Federer challenged at 0-15 when it looked as if Nadal had played a sensational shot, and the Swiss produced a brilliant shot of his own to move 30-15 ahead. Federer missed the chance to break, however, as Nadal held on.

4-5: Nadal breaks Federer on the second time of asking in a quite stunning game of tennis to allow himself the chance to serve for a place in the final.

6-4: Nadal has done it, Federer looked certain to break at advantage but missed two chances, allowing the Spaniard to hold serve and secure a place in the Australian Open final after a tremendous display of tennis from both men.

SET NADAL 6-4 FEDERER

Result: Nadal 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-4 Federer

Andy Murray
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