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    Nadal battles past Dimitrov to reach Aussie Open semis

    3:51 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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    Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed and current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal earned a hard-fought four-set victory over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday to secure a spot in the semifinals at the Australian Open.

    Nadal dropped the first set to Dimitrov, but the 13-time major champion gritted through a pair of tough tiebreaks over the next two sets before running away with the final set en route to a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 triumph on Rod Laver Arena.

    It's the fourth semifinal appearance at the Aussie Open for the reigning U.S. and French Open champ Nadal.

    Dimitrov, who became the first Bulgarian to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam singles event, dropped to 0-4 in his career against Nadal.

    Next up for the 2009 Australian Open champ Nadal will be the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between sixth-seeded Swiss star Roger Federer and fourth- seeded reigning Wimbeldon champ Andy Murray.

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