Andrea Hlavackova, left, of the Czech Republic and partner Peng Shuai of China hit a return during the women's doubles final against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open tennis championships in
Dita Alangkara
January 27, 2017

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The Latest on Friday at the Australian Open (all times local):

12:45 a.m.

Rafael Nadal has beaten Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 to advance to the final of the Australian Open and set up a title match with his old rival, Roger Federer.

The ninth-seeded Spaniard fought off two break points in the eighth game of the fifth set, then hit a backhand winner down the line to break Dimitrov in the next game and take a 5-4 lead. He served it out in the next game to win in 4 hours, 56 minutes.

Nadal improved his record in Grand Slam semifinals to an impressive 21-3 and advanced to his fourth Australian Open final. He's only won the title at Melbourne Park once in 2009.

Nadal has a 23-11 head-to-head match record against Federer and a 6-2 advantage in Grand Slam finals. Federer hasn't beaten Nadal in a major final since Wimbledon in 2007.

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11:45 p.m.

Grigor Dimitrov has fought back to win the fourth set against Rafael Nadal in a tiebreak, 7-6 (4), to force a fifth-set decider in their Australian Open semifinal.

The two players traded eight breaks of serve in the opening three sets - four apiece - but neither had a break-point chance in the fourth.

Dimitrov has 60 winners in the match so far, nearly double Nadal's 35. He's aiming to reach his first Grand Slam final.

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10: 40 p.m.

Rafael Nadal won the third set 7-6 (5) and leads his Australian Open semifinal against No. 15-seeded Grigor Dimitrov by two sets to one.

There were two service breaks in the third set, and a delay after the 11th game when a person in the crowed needed medical attention. Nadal held serve in the next game, and never trailed in the tiebreaker.

He is potentially one set away from a final against Roger Federer.

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9:30 p.m.

Grigor Dimitrov converted his fifth set point to take the second 7-5 and level his Australian Open semifinal against Rafael Nadal at one set apiece on Friday night.

After losing the first set 6-3, Dimitrov broke Nadal's serve in the fourth game of the second set. Nadal got back on terms during an exchange of service breaks from the seventh game to the ninth, with both players double-faulting on key points.

Dimitrov had a chance to serve for the set at 5-3 but was broken. Nadal saved four set points in the 10th game, serving at 4-5, but couldn't hold on again in the 12th game, sending backhand long at 15-40.

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8:25 p.m.

Rafael Nadal has won the first set 6-3 in his Australian Open semifinal against No. 15-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.The 14-time major winner, returning from an extended injury layoff for his left wrist, broke Dimitrov's serve in the fourth game and closed out in 35 minutes.

No. 9-seeded Nadal and Dimitrov are playing off for a spot in Sunday's final against Roger Federer.

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7:20 p.m.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova enhanced their reputation as the dominant duo by winning the Australian Open women's doubles final 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 over Andrea Hlavackova and China's Peng Shuai.It extended the pair's unbeaten record to 12 matches at Melbourne Park - they won the 2015 doubles title, but didn't play together last year because Safarova was ill.

The second Australian title was their fourth together in Grand Slams after also winning the 2015 French Open and last year's US Open.

It was the first meeting of the teams in which all four players have won at least two Grand Slam doubles titles.

Hlavackova and Peng, who had not dropped a set on the way to the final, took an early service break and seemed in command of the opening set.

But Mattek-Sands and Safarova were able to retrieve it and the duel headed inevitably to a tiebreak. Hlavackova and Peng surged to the lead and held on to close it out 7-3.

Hlavackova and Peng both lost serve to slump to 0-3 in the second set before breaking Mattek-Sands to get on the scoreboard. It proved to be merely a slight interruption for the American and Safarova as they powered through the second set 6-3 to square the stirring final.

The deciding set swung on Hlavackova's serve in the fourth game. After seemingly being in control, she had to fight off a break point and then double-faulted on the next one for the crucial service break.

Trying to build on a 3-1 lead, Safarova staved off three break points to finally hold serve.

Peng pulled back from 0-40 at 1-4 to hold serve. But when Mattek-Sands held in the next game, the second-seeded pair were in winning position.

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5:40 p.m.

Sania Mirza has a shot at another Australian Open mixed doubles title.

Mirza and Ivan Dodig reached the final after ending the hopes of local pair Sam Groth and Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 in Friday's semifinals on Rod Laver Arena.

Mirza won the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title with fellow Indian Maheshi Bhupathi. She reached the 2016 French Open final with Dodig, losing to Martina Hingis and Leander Paes.

Groth and Stosur squandered a 4-2 lead, surrendering four successive games to lose the opening set, but the Australian pair rallied strongly to send the match into a deciding tiebreak set.

Second-seeded Mirza and Dodig seized control when Groth's booming serve misfired on a couple of crucial points and the powerful Australian even gave up a critical double-fault.

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