Rafael Nadal lost the opening set, but came right back to win the next three at Melbourne Park. Reuters

It didn't have the classic elements of the 2009 Australian Open Final, but the Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer duel on Thursday was arguably the best match of the tournament, as Nadal defeated Federer 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-4 on Australia Day at Rod Laver Arena.

The match at Melbourne Park lasted three hours and 42 minutes, and tennis fans were treated to a back and forth match between the great tennis rivals.

Nadal's athleticism was too much for Federer, as the Spaniard ran down every nearly every ground stroke to perfection. Federer approached the net 57 times, while Nadal approached the net 15 times.

In the first set, Federer's strategy of running Nadal around appeared to be working, as the Swiss star won the first set in tie breaker, 7-5 with some excellent passing shots.

But It was all Nadal the rest of the way, as the 25-year-old never slowed down, while completing six-of-16 break point opportunities.

It was an efficient day for Nadal, who limited his mistakes, and diisplayed his trademark grit. Federer would end up with 63 unforced errors compared to Nadal's 34.

Nadal now has an 18-9 record over Federer.

I thought Rafa played well from start to finish, Federer said. It was a tough match physically as well. I'm disappointed, but it's only the beginning of the season. I'm feeling all right, so it's OK.

Novak Djokovic faces Andy Murray in the second semi-final on Friday.

Here are the highlights from Federer-Nadal:

Bir kez daha Nadal by EurosportTurkiye