“It was a great match, and it’s been a great tournament,” said Nadal, who awaits either world No.1 Novak Djokovic or first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Lucas Pouille in Sunday’s final.
“I’ve played well every day. After a lot of months without playing, it’s probably this court, this crowd, that is giving me that unbelievable energy.
“To start the season like this, when a few weeks ago I was in Brisbane, having to take a very tough decision for me not to play there. In that moment it was difficult for me to imagine being in this position today.
“That week in Brisbane in practice worked very well for me, then I arrived here and had another good week of work. And since the tournament started, I’ve felt really well.”
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With the Australian Open’s Extreme Heat policy in effect during the afternoon’s action on Thursday, the roof that was closed for the women’s semifinals was reopened moments before both players took to court, with temperatures slowly easing off from 39 degrees Celsius as the match wore on.
“Being honest, when it’s that warm I’d prefer to close the roof,” Nadal said. “I’ve played some great matches here with the roof closed. I love the feeling of playing with the roof closed. It’s great that all the most important events in the world have courts that can close the roof, with warm conditions and with rain.”