Nadal's injury a boon to Federer
A REJUVENATED Roger Federer may get his best chance to end his Grand Slam torment against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open with the top seed plagued by a blister on his hand.
The Swiss all-time Grand Slam champion has not beaten Nadal in five Slam encounters since his 2007 Wimbledon final triumph.
But a combination of Federer's resurgence under Swedish mentor Stefan Edberg and Nadal's blister-induced weakened serve has thrown open the outcome of today's semi-final.
Nadal was clearly discomfited by the blister in the palm of his serving hand as he spluttered with seven double-faults, two on break points, in his battling, four-set win over Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
The 13-time Grand Slam champion, 27, complained that a lack of confidence in his weakened serve made him vulnerable against the Bulgarian.
"I served slower. I served badly," said Nadal, who is on a 10-match winning run.
"My biggest problem was the serve, because (it) gives me a problem with everything else."
Former world No. 1 Federer, now ranked sixth, is trying to show that he is still capable of winning an 18th Grand Slam title, with his last coming at Wimbledon in 2012.
The 32-year-old is relishing the prospect of playing the Nadal again on the big stage.
"He's been tough to play against. I'm happy I get a chance to play him in a Slam again," said Federer, who lost to Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open semi-finals in their last Slam encounter.
The winner of this semi-final will play Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) yesterday.