MELBOURNE — Rafael Nadal dominated third-seeded Milos Raonic, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-4, on Wednesday to join 35-year-old Roger Federer and 31-year-old Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals. It’s the first time since the 1968 French Open that three 30-somethings made the men’s semifinals at a Grand Slam.
Nadal, 30, will play Grigor Dimitrov, 25, who beat No. 11 David Goffin.
Nadal, whose ranking has slipped to No. 9, believed he would return to another Grand Slam semifinal despite struggling with injuries and a lack of confidence in recent years. The last time he made it this far was at the 2014 French Open when he claimed his 14th Grand Slam title.
The win over Raonic was Nadal’s 50th at Melbourne Park, where he won the title in 2009 and lost in the final in 2012 and ’14. The Spaniard saved six set points in the second set, including two in the 13-minute tiebreaker.
Raonic, who aggravated an adductor injury during the match, had beaten Nadal in their most recent match two weeks ago in Brisbane.
“Even when I was winning a lot I had doubts, you can imagine I had more when I had injuries,” Nadal said. “I think I had a great career, but at the same time I had a lot of tough moments. That makes me enjoy even more the good moments I’m having today.”
Dimitrov had a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Goffin and returned to the last four at a major for the first time since Wimbledon in 2014. It was the No. 15-seeded Dimitrov’s fifth win from as many meetings with Goffin. He is on a roll in Australia after winning the Brisbane International tuneup tournament ahead of the season’s first major.