Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have one of the most storied rivalries in tennis
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have met 34 times in their career and the Swiss has only won 11 of the encounters.
And the 35-year-old has revealed that early clay-court clashes – Nadal has a 13-2 record against Federer on the surface – have influenced his tactics in their more recent matches.
"Rafa has presented me with the biggest challenge in the game," Federer said.
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"I played him too many times on clay early on in my career.
"That's has something to do with how I played him on different surfaces."
Federer beat Stan Wawrinka in five sets at the Australian Open earlier today to book his place in the final where he will face Nadal again if the Spaniard can overcome Grigor Dimitrov tomorrow morning.
The Swiss said before the tournament that he never expected to get past the quarter-finals after six months out injured.
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But now that he has confirmed his presence on Sunday, the 17-time Grand Slam champion will not be holding back in pursuit of No 18, no matter who he plays.
"I can talk about playing a final for the first time," added Federer, who received treatment for a leg injury during the semi-final.
"I've been dodging that bullet for the last couple of days.
"I'm going to leave it all out here and if I can't walk for the next five months, that's okay.
"It's going to be tough regardless [of who I play].
"Grigor has got one of the ultimate tests in the game in his semi-final, playing Rafa."