Australian Open 2014: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov to reach semis
Australian Open 2014: Rafael Nadal beats Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 to reach the semi-finals
Rafael Nadal admitted he was “lucky” after battling to a four-set win over Grigor Dimitrov to book his place in the Australian Open semi-finals.
The world No1, playing with a severe blister on his racquet hand, saved three set points in the third set to win 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 and set up a clash with either Roger Federer or Andy Murray in the last four.
“I was lucky,” said Nadal, who wrapped up the victory in three hours and 37 minutes in Melbourne. “He missed an easy forehand and another one.
It’s tough losing that match. I came out expecting nothing less than to win
“I played better in the fourth. I hit good passing shots, good forehands down the line. I was able to play a little bit more confidently.
“But talking about the whole match, it is true I was lucky in the third, the tiebreak.”
The 22-year-old Bulgarian, playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final, admitted his disappointment at the result, but paid tribute to the Spaniard.
“I’m a bit shattered,” said Dimitrov. “It’s tough losing that match. I came out expecting nothing less than to win.
“Of course I shed a few tears, but it should hurt. And it does hurt.
“All the credit to Rafa. I think he played a great match. His physicality came over towards the end of the match. He’s not one of the best, I think he’s the best player right now.”