Rafael Nadal continued his dominant streak over Roger Federer to reach the Australian Open final for the third time, beating the 17-time major winner 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 and set up a championship decider against Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal now has won 23 of his 33 matches against Federer, including nine of 11 in the majors.

The 27-year-old Spaniard is one victory away from being the first man in the Open era to win all four majors at least twice, and from joining Pete Sampras in second place on the list of all-time Grand Slam winners with 14.

By reaching the final, Wawrinka ensured he would replace Federer as their country's highest-ranked player for the first time.

Nadal missed the 2013 Australian Open during a seven-month layoff for illness and a knee injury, but returned to win the French and US Open among his 10 titles for the season and finished the year at number one.

"It's really, really emotional for me to be back on this court, Rod Laver Arena, and to be able to play another final,'' Nadal said.

His previous match against Federer in a Grand Slam was here in 2012, when he beat him in four sets in the semifinals before losing the five-set, five-hour, 53-minute final to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal is now second on the list of players reaching Grand Slam finals, joining Ivan Lendl on 19 - Federer leads the list with 24, but has not figured in a major final since winning Wimbledon in 2012.

Source: Reuters