Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could renew their rivalry in the final of the Australian Open
Nadal beat Milos Raonic in straight sets today and will play Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open semi-finals on Friday with either Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka waiting in the final.
And Spaniard Nadal said of the former world No 1, who missed the second half of 2016 with a knee injury: "It's amazing after having a tough injury for so many months to have Roger back in the semi-finals again in a Grand Slam.
"It's the first Grand Slam of the season which makes it even tougher for him.
"It's especially great for him, but for everyone who loves tennis.
"I want to congratulate him for a great effort and I wish both him and Stan the best of luck.
"I'm hoping to see a great match."
Stan Wawrinka will face Roger Federer for a place in the Australian Open final
Wawrinka has played his fellow countryman Federer 21 times before but only won three times.
However, the 31-year-old became US Open champion for the first time in the last Grand Slam of 2016 and Nadal admitted he will definitely be tuning in to watch the all-Swiss clash.
"I love the sport," added Nadal.
"If you don't want to watch this match, you don't like the sport!"
Against Raonic, Nadal broke just twice in the entire match, in the seventh game of the first set and the last of the third, with the Canadian unable to even come close to producing something similar.
The Spaniard's ball-striking was reminiscent of his pomp, but Raonic's consistent big serving kept him within touching distance for much of the match.
Grigor Dimitrov will play Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open semi-final
The Canadian had chances to win the second set and level up the match despite Nadal's incredible level, but he ended up losing the tie-break in the face of his opponent's relentless rallying.
Nadal eventually broke in the 10th game of the tight third set to take the match and return to the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time since 2014.
But the prospect of a final against Federer, which would be the 35th instalment of their legendary rivalry, is one too mouth-watering for some fans to contemplate.