Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal produced some scintillating tennis to come from one set down to beat Roger Federer and reach his second Australian Open final.

The world number two, who won the 2009 title, lost an opening set tie-break but hit back to take the next three and win 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Third seed Federer saved one match point on Nadal’s serve but the Spaniard held his nerve to take it on the next.

Nadal will play either Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

It was another classic encounter in what remains one of sport’s greatest rivalries, with the 10-time Grand Slam champion Nadal extending his winning record over Federer to 18 victories in 27 meetings.

The Mallorcan gave his best wishes to his defeated opponent after what he described as “another fantastic match”.

Nadal, who injured his knee prior to the tournament, added: “Sunday afternoon, 24 hours to play my first match, I was in my room crying because I believed I didn’t have the chance to play in Melbourne.

“So it was a very, very tough situation for me.”

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