World number one Rafael Nadal was forced to battle back from a set down before he blunted the challenge of Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov with a 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-2 victory to advance to his fourth Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Dimitrov showcased the power, court coverage and booming serve that tennis pundits have suggested could take him to the top of the game as he tested Nadal, though, he was unable to capitalise at crucial moments of the match. He held two set points in the third only for Nadal to seize the advantage and clinch the tie-break 9-7, then the Spanish left-hander hammered the nail in the coffin of Dimitrov's hopes when he broke in the second game of the fourth.
Nadal held serve to take a 3-0 lead that he never looked like relinquishing and completed victory to set up a mouth-watering clash against either Roger Federer or Britain's Andy Murray for a place in the final.
(Writing by Greg Stutchbury. Editing by Patrick Johnston)