Nadal Ready for Another Thrilling Contest

Rafael Nadal survived a record five-set battle with fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco to set up a classic Australian Open final with arch-rival Roger Federer on Friday.

‘Right now I feel more happy than tired,’ Nadal told the crowd. ‘For sure it’s going to be a tough final. But it was amazing for me to play that match here. It was one of the best matches of my career.’

On Sunday Nadal will play his seventh Major final against Federer, who can equal the Grand Slam titles record. Nadal beat Federer in both the French Open and Wimbledon finals last year and holds a 4-2 edge in the matches.

Friday’s match also surpassed Nadal’s epic Wimbledon final with Federer last year, (four hours and 48 minutes), and equalled his longest ever match (five hours 14 minutes against Guillermo Coria in the 2005 Rome final).

‘It’s going to be a little bit tough on Sunday. Roger had today off and only three sets in his semi-final so now, for sure, he’s the favourite,’ added Nadal.‘But I’ll try my best.’

On what the match will be like:

Nadal: “When you are playing on the grass side, you have to be faster, go to the net to avoid long rallies. On clay, you just have to look for them. The one playing on grass will struggle, the ball will bounce faster, the movement will be worse. The one playing on clay has the advantage.”

Federer: "We might take a set or half of it to get used to the surface and the adjustments we will need to do. I agree with him, the advantage will be on the clay's side.


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