With 30 majors between them, this is about as big as a semifinal can get. Rafa had a somewhat close straight set win over Kei Nishikori and then struggled with Grigor Dimitrov until the fourth set. Roger Federer has looked as sharp as he’s been since winning Wimbledon 2012, taking the silver medal and then winning Cincinnati 2012.
A lot of people are saying Roger can win and some are predicting him to win. I am splitting the difference. Rafa has always had a lot of success against Roger. He beat Roger 4 times in 2013 (winning 8 of 9 sets). I think Roger can win, but the historical evidence including Nadal winning both previous encounters in Australia along with Nadal’s #1 ranking/seed means that Nadal must be the pick.
I think Roger looks to be enjoying tennis more than he has in years. He is playing with a clear purpose. He is serving well and the surface is playing faster than last year.
My Prediction: Nadal d. Federer 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4