Nadal hails 'dream' final after freak injury
Rafael Nadal Thursday said it was a "dream" to reach the Australian
Open final after a freak injury on the eve of the tournament left him
crying in his hotel room.
The Spanish ace extended his mastery over Roger Federer 6-7 (5/7),
6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to reach his second Melbourne final, something which
appeared unlikely after his sudden injury just before the first round.
Nadal was sitting in his hotel when he was hit by agonising pains in his
troublesome right knee and was unable to bend his leg, prompting frantic
medical treatment to get him fit to play.
"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," he said. "So it was a very, very tough situation for me,
"Two weeks later I am here in the finals, so it is a dream for me
because I had very bad expectations 24 hours before the first match, and
now two weeks later I am playing well. I am in the final.
"Always playing grand slam finals is very good news. I've been in the
last four grand slam finals so it is a great effort I think." Nadal has
shown no signs of discomfort and he progressed smoothly through the
opening rounds, and did not drop a set until his quarter-final with
And he neutralised Federer's exquisite tennis with a typically
determined performance punctuated by belting forehand winners. The
25-year-old will play either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray for his 11th
grand slam title.
"I am happy about how I am doing. When I am able to play inside, to
play aggressive, I think things are working fantastic," he said.
"I don't know if it's going to be enough against Novak or against
Andy. But what can I say? I'm very happy about my tournament. I'm going
to try my best to try to play a fantastic final and hopefully I will
have my chances."
Asked whether he would rather play Djokovic or Murray, Nadal joked:
"I prefer the player's who's going to play worse on Sunday."