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Follow Me on TwitterRob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at rsoria@ourhometown.ca
Australian Open: Nadal and Federer Set to Battle In Semi-Final
Rob Soria
OurHometown.ca

Australian Open: Nadal and Federer Set to Battle In Semi-Final
With Novak Djokovic being the top ranked player in the world, this year’s Australian Open marked one of the rare occasions that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal found themselves on the same side of the draw. With that being the case, the two men would be unable to go head-to-head for the Open title but they still could meet up in what would be an outstanding semi-final match.
PHOTO CREDIT - Zimbio.com

Edmonton - January 24, 2012 - With Novak Djokovic being the top ranked player in the world, this year’s Australian Open marked one of the rare occasions that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal found themselves on the same side of the draw. With that being the case, the two men would be unable to go head-to-head for the Open title but they still could meet up in what would be an outstanding semi-final match. The potential of another Roger vs Rafa battle, had tennis fans salivating every where. Both men had done their parts in taking down all challengers heading into quarter-final play but that is where the true test would come. Fortunately, the two champions did not disappoint and fans will, once again, be treated to a battle between two of the best players to ever pick up a racket.

Federer took on Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in what had the makings of the best match of the tournament. Unfortunately, the Swiss legend had other intentions. Roger was in top form and surprisingly dismissed the hard hitting Del Potro with ease 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. In Del Potro's defense, the number eleven seed was pounding the ball all afternoon long and made Federer work hard but nothing he did would faze the four-time Australian Open champ. Roger's backhand was lethal throughout and Juan Martin had no answer. It seemed the harder he hit the ball, the better the return would be. This one had five set marathon written all over it but it took the third seed just under two hours to move on to face his greatest rival.

Nadal had the much harder road to the semi-finals, in battling Czech Tomas Berdych. After dropping a hard fought first set, Rafa slowly started to turn the tide and would simply outlast the seventh seed 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. While Berdych gave it his all, Nadal was just too good. The second seed served 71% for the match and committed only thirty unforced errors, in the four hour plus marathon. It seemed as though the longer the match went, the stronger Nadal got.

With Roger and Rafa both currently playing at unconscious levels, their pending semi-final could be one for the ages. Both men are desperately looking to regain their spot atop the tennis world so the quality of tennis fans will be treated to, could reach new heights. While the two legends battle it out, the big winner my just end up being Novak Djokovic...that is if, he finds his way back into the final.

Djokovic will face Spain's David Ferrer on Day 10 of action, in what should be a very interesting quarter-final match up. It would surprise no one, if the top seeded Serb makes quick work of the diminutive Spaniard but if Ferrer were to find a way to take this match to the limit, few should be surprised. The number five seed has earned a reputation for coming up big when he is given little to no chance at victory but his never say die attitude, keeps him in every match.

In Wednesday quarterfinals, fourth seed Andy Murray will be a huge favourite against Japan's Kei Nishikori. The twenty-fourth ranked Nishikori, pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, in beating sixth seed Jo-Wilfied Tsonga. While taking out Tsonga was a great achievement, bouncing Murray would be another thing altogether.


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