The first half of the Australian Open men’s singles finals has been locked in after Roger Federer’s ousting of Stan Wawrinka in the semis.
The No. 17-ranked Federer bested No. 4 Wawrinka 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 today at Rod Laver Arena, capping off a thrilling comeback story that could see the Swiss record holder capture his first Australian Open title since 2010 and his first Grand Slam win since the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
Next up, Federer will face the winner of Friday’s semifinal showdown between No. 9 Rafael Nadal and No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov. Should Nadal advance to the finals, fans will be treated to another chapter in one of the most competitive rivalries in modern tennis.
Nadal currently leads the rivalry with a 23-11 record, and he’s also beaten Federer each time they’ve met at the Australian Open, including the 2009 finals and semi-final matchups in 2012 and 2014.
For Federer, it’s been a long journey back to the top after spending six months on the sidelines recuperating from issues with his left knee. At 35, Federer is the oldest male player to advance to a Grand Slam final since 1974.
Federer pulled off the semifinal win in his go-to sneakers, the NikeCourt Zoom Vapor 9.5 Flyknit in “Hyper Orange/Lava Glow/Volt,” available now from nike.com for $180.