Going into the finals of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal has insisted that his past Grand Slam wins against Roger Federer will not have any effect when the two meet in the summit clash of the season opening tournament.
The fourteen-time Grand Slam champion on Friday came out with a spirited performance to overcome Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria to enter the finals of the Australian Open.
Nadal defeated Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 in a hard-fought semifinal contest that lasted for almost five hours at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The Spaniard, who is the 2009 Melbourne Park champion, will play Federer in a Grand Slam final for the ninth time on Sunday, after the 17-time Grand Slam champion beat 2014 Melbourne Park victor Stan Wawrinka in five sets on Thursday night.
If going by the recent past, Nadal, who leads Federer 23-11 in their head-to-head rivalry, and has won their past three meetings in Melbourne, at the semifinal stage in 2012 and 2014, and in the 2009 final, holds the upper hand going into the summit clash.
“No, that was a long time ago. It’s a different match, different moment for both of us. I think this match is completely different than what happened before,” Sport24 quoted Nadal as saying.
“It’s special. We have not been there in that situation for a while, so that makes the match different.”
“I really don’t think about what happened in the past,” he added.
Nadal insisted that whosoever will play better tennis will emerge as victorious.