Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in straight sets to reach Australian Open final

Rafael Nadal powered past Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final and maintain his dominance over the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The world number one came through 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-3 and goes on to face Federer's compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka, for the title on Sunday.

And the Spaniard, 27, will be a strong favourite to claim his 14th Slam, and become only the third man to win all four majors at least twice.
"I played well," he said. "I played probably my best match of the tournament, so I'm very, very, very happy that I played my best match in the semi-final against Roger."
Nadal was in brilliant form in his 33rd meeting with Federer, overcoming a blister on his racquet hand and, if anything, growing stronger as the match progressed.
"The blister is good," added Nadal. "It looks better every day. We are doing the right things. The blister today is not a problem any more for normal life. It's not painful.

"The problem is to play tennis. The only problem is the position of the blister, the place."
Federer, 32, had captured the headlines throughout the tournament with his eye-catching form, built around some excellent serving, but he was constantly under pressure against Nadal.

It gave Nadal a 23rd win over Federer, who still has not beaten Nadal at a Grand Slam since the 2007 Wimbledon final, and never away from the All England Club.
"I think Rafa did a good job of keeping the pressure on me," said Federer. "I might have gotten a little tired, maybe in the third set, but overall I'm very happy.

"Rafa played well and he played solid, so I don't have crazy regrets tonight other than maybe not having created more opportunities for myself. Rafa was his usual self, what I kind of expected."

Nadal beat Federer despite struggling with a painful-looking blister