Rafael Nadal overcame Grigor Dimitrov to book his place in the last four of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The Spaniard beat Bulgarian Dimitrov 3-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 and will meet Swiss sixth seed Roger Federer, who beat Andy Murray, in Friday’s semi-finals.
Nadal, 27, managed to save three set points in the third set on his way to winning the 22nd seed, playing with a severe blister on his racquet hand.
He later admitted that the blister was affecting his game- “especially with the serves”- during the last eight match, which lasted three hours and 37 minutes.
“I will try and improve the hand tomorrow and then try to be ready for a tough match against Rogers (Federer) or Andy (Murray),” said the 13-time Grand Slam champion.
“The blister is much better, but if I am not playing with protection, it can be much worse.”
The match produced two tie breaks and the Marjorcan ended both with the last laugh in different fashion.
Dimitrov was playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final and did come up with a game plan that saw him stretch the world number one, but made some errors in some decisive moments of the encounter.