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Summary

  1. Roger Federer beats Stan Wawrinka to reach final
  2. Federer wins 7-5 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-3
  3. Federer faces Nadal or Dimitrov, who play on Friday
  4. Serena and Venus Williams through to women's final on Saturday

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye!

Nadal
Reuters

Can someone just remind me what year we're in? It's 2009, right? 

Because we've got an all-Williams final in the women's singles and the prospect of a Federer v Nadal match-up in the men's showpiece. Remarkable. You'll be telling me that JLS are back in the charts next.

Remind yourself how Fed reached the final here. And make sure you join us again tomorrow for Rafa versus Dimitrov. See you then!

Nadal v Dimitrov (Fri, 08:30 GMT)

Heart says Nadal, head says Dimitrov...

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Nadal v Dimitrov (Fri, 08:30 GMT)

Never mind the Rog-naissance - what about the Raf-ival? Catchy, huh? They need some work.

Nadal, who has 14 Slams next to his name in the record books, is back in the semi-finals of a major for the first time in nearly three years. 

"Very happy that after a lot of work, to be in this round again," says the Spanish ninth seed.. "It is a special thing for me, especially here in Australia. 

"I'm excited about be back in final rounds of the most important events. You know, I am here to try to make this happen. It is always difficult, but I fought and I worked hard to try to make that happen." 

Wonder if Federer will be watching Rafa v Dimitrov tomorrow? He's got to be, surely. The other semi-final kicks off about 08:30 GMT tomorrow. You can follow it right here with us, where we will have live text and radio coverage. That's how Roger will be following the action if he's not near a TV screen.

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Pat Cash

Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

It was fantastic from Federer. It was a good comeback from Stan, just a bit too passive to let Federer dominate the first two sets.

You have got to give credit to Federer. He held tough in the fifth set, like he has done so often.

Both players have a classy respect for each other, which we don’t see an awful lot of these days.

No pressure then Rafa...

Rafael Nadal
Rex Features

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Aaron Singh Callo: Federer doing his bit for throwback Thursday and going to a grand slam final.

Cavalera Van Soto: Outstanding, Roger! It's up to you now, Rafa! Make all our wildest Wimbledon 2008 AusOpen 2009 dreams come true!  

Elliot Hunter: Should Fed win on Sunday it surely ends the debate over who is the greatest. The final is going to be a cracker.  

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Roger Federer is a statistician's dream. Here's another pearler. The Swiss, aged 35 years and 174 days, is the fourth oldest man to reach the Australian Open final. And he's the most senior since Ken Rosewall reached the 1972 final. A time long before Roger was even alive.

Roger Federer signs tennis balls for the fans
Reuters

Age? Pah. That's no barrier to these super-human tennis players that we're lucky to call our generation. Three semi-finalists confirmed, all three aged 35 or over. Serena and Venus are joined by Federer - will Rafa Nadal make it a clean sweep? He's just a baby at 30-years-old...

'The physio has magic hands'

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Federer on taking an injury timeout: "I have had a leg thing going on for a week, and I felt it from the second game on in the match.

"If you go off the court, that means the treatment is further up the leg. We're still talking about the leg!  

"I never take injury timeouts. Stan took his, so I thought people won't be mad - Stan won't be mad hopefully.

"You hope something works, and that physio has some magic hands going on." 

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Roger Federer puffs his cheeks out as he disappears back into the bowels of Laver. Downstairs waiting are a number of family members and friends, the sweaty Swiss embracing each of them as they offer congratulations. 

Russell Fuller

BBC tennis correspondent on Radio 5 live sports extra

We are in a bit of a daze, there's a warm glow about the place, with Federer able to resist Wawrinka of all people in a fifth set of a Grand Slam semi-final.

Roger Federer
AFP

'I've had epic battles with Rafa'

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Federer on a potential final against Rafael Nadal: "I can really actually talk about playing a final - I've been dodging that bullet for a few rounds.

"I'll leave it all out here in Australia and if I can't walk for five months that's OK. Rafa has presented me the biggest challenge, I think I played him too may times on clay early in my career.

"I am probably his number one fan, his game is tremendous. We had some epic battles over the years and I think both of us would never have thought we would be playing here in a final.

"I opened his academy last year. I told him I wish we could do a charity match or something – I was on one leg, he had a wrist injury, so we played some tennis with some juniors and that was the best we could do. It's very special for both of us."

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Poor Grigor Dimitrov. Not only does the Laver crowd make it clear they want him to lose in order to tee up a Fed-Nadal final, the Bulgarian semi-finalist is then dug out by Roger Federer over that singing video. Not seen it? Worth a watch. Just turn down the volume. Fed, Dimitrov and Tommy Haas will not be giving One Direction a run for their money...

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'It's beautiful!'

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Roger Federer: "I don't know how many break points I saved, it was tough. I felt Stan had the upper hand from the baseline in the fifth set. I just knew I had to stay in it somehow and play aggressive.

"I feel like he gave me a bit of a cheap break, but after that I served it home and I couldn't be happier right now.

"I felt like everything happened so quickly at the end, I had to check the score at the end. It feels amazing. I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I'd come this far in Australia. It's beautiful, I'm so happy."

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Federer mysteriously says he had a "leg thing" at the end of that fourth set, hence taking the medical timeout. He seems to indicate it was to get his head straight more than anything else too serious. Whatever, it worked.

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

Stan, unsurprisingly, receives a standing ovation as he leaves Laver. It didn't look like he'd take it to four sets, never mind five a couple of hours ago. After cheering against him for three hours and eight minutes, the pro-Fed crowd show their appreciation for the three-time Slam winner.

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

A warm embrace from the two players at the net. They've had their ups and downs over the years - notably when Mrs Federer had a pop at "crybaby" Stan during the 2014 World Tour Finals - but there is a lot of love here. A proper bromance.

Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer embrace after their match
AFP

Game, set and match - Federer

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 Federer

He's done it! Roger Federer is through to the Australian Open final. Simply sensational. His 28th Slam final, his sixth final in Melbourne. One match away from his 18TH Grand Slam title.

And what a way to wrap it up - a hold to love. Federer applies the pressure, Stan buckles. Every point is cheered by the pro-Fed Laver crowd, Mirka (Mrs Federer to you and I) is up on her feet. Job done. Eventually.

Roger Federer
AFP

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-5 Federer*

Stan is knee deep in Federer-shaped mud. Can he drag himself out of bother? He has to - or he sinks. Stan moves 30-0 ahead and seals a routine hold a couple of points later. Federer is never in that game.

Over to you Rog...

Roger Federer
EPA

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Simon: Imagine waking from a coma after 10 years to see Williams v Williams & Federer v Nadal finals, you'd think time had stood still.

Mickey Wallis: As much as I love Stan the man, it would be really very annoying if he were to deprive us of a Federer/Nadal final once more.  

Pat Cash

Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

He's done a fair bit of running tonight, Stan. He's going to be feeling it tonight. Especially if his knee is a bit sore, it's taped up.

Stan Wawrinka
Getty Images

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-5 Federer

An easy hold here and Federer is within touching distance. He eases into a 40-0 advantage thanks to a backhand winner and a pair of Wawrinka mistakes. A minor blip sees him plant a backhand into the net, only to make amends at the next chance, stepping in to meet a desperate Wawrinka return with a thumping smash. He hit that so hard it is on the main road out of Melbourne.

Federer breaks

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-4 Federer*

Right then. Here's a massive chance for Federer. He leads 30-15 and then moves even closer when Stan miscues a forehand.

A big deep breath from Stan as he recomposes himself. Two break points for Federer...

And Stan chokes! The fourth seed double faults at the worst possible time. The Laver crowd whoops, Stan shakes his head.

Stan Wawrinka
EPA

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-3 Federer

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-3 Federer

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-3 Federer

Momentum in this match is swinging quicker than a clock pendulum. More muttering from Roger as he buckles under the weight of Stan's relentlessness pressure in deuce. Another break point for the fourth seed Wawrinka.

First serve goes in, instantly sticking Stan on the back foot. Fed moves into the net, failing to finish off a smash, making sure at the second attempt.

Federer, perhaps buoyed by the crowd support, steps on the gas, moving towards the net as Wawrinka lumps the ball into the tape.

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 2-2 Federer*

Daylight. The Fed Express steams into a 30-0 lead, but is quickly slowed down by his opponent who powers back to level terms. Federer mutters something under his breath as a forehand goes missing, Wawrinka winning a humdinger of a point with a super forehand winner. If it's quality that you are after then you're in the right place.

Stan Wawrinka
AFP

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 1-2 Federer

Chance! Stan Wawrinka wins a break point but it disappears as soon as it arrives. Roger Federer forces deuce then cuts down on a Stan return with a courgette-chopping backhand to take advantage. And he seals the hold at the next opportunity.

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 1-1 Federer*

Whatever you can do Roger...

Stan bites back with a vicious hold of his own - his second without dropping a point in a row. Worrying for Federer fans, he's at 73% on his second serve...

Pat Cash

Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

It's a big ask to win three sets in a row against Roger Federer, given the form Roger has been in.

Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer
EPA

*Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 0-1 Federer

Whatever the doctor ordered in that timeout, it wasn't an easy hold for Federer. I mean, that's not in the hands of the medical man or woman. That's down the man himself. And he's fixed it. Positive start for the 17-time Slam champion.

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Luke: Wawrinka is like Man United under Fergie; you can never, ever write him off. Unbelievable mental strength!

Alie: Come on Federer! Aus open final is in your grip.

Pat Cash

Former Wimbledon champion on BBC Sport website

I think Roger went off for a bit of treatment to his back. It's probably a bit stiff and he wants it right for the fifth set. But an eight-minute break is a huge momentum changer. I'm not sure it's right. It's within the laws but is it right?

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 Federer

Stan returns first, going through some warm-up drills that you and I have probably done at an aerobics class. On all fours, raising his legs up to the air. Leg raises, perhaps. Federer wanders out a few moments later. No strapping anyway. Or not that we can see. Federer to serve first in the decider... 

Stan Wawrinka exercises during a break
Reuters

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 Federer

Stan takes the opportunity to wander off court too. There's a stunned silence in Laver as the crowd contemplates the goings on of the past couple of hours. Mrs Federer looks like she has just been told that her much-loved cat has gone missing. Stoney-faced, solemn, shocked. 

Roger Federer's wife
AFP

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 Federer

We've got more drama than that new Beeb series starring Tom Hardy. The latest twist sees Roger Federer go off court after taking a medical timeout. See, I told you. You can take your 18th Century tales of conspiracy, murder and betrayal, Hardy.

How fit is Federer?

David Law

Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

This has turned around so quickly. Which player is physically in the better shape could be the decider. 

Federer going off now is a concern. He's had six months out of the game.

Roger Federer
Reuters

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Alex Haworth: Stan's breaking hearts here!

Joel Newnham: This is epic hope Sunday's final is this exciting, whoever's in it

Game and fourth set - Wawrinka

Wawrinka 5-7 3-6 6-1 6-4 Federer

This rollercoaster ride is showing no signs of slowing down. Hold on tight. Stan Wawrinka levels the match with what I believe is his first hold-to-love of the match. Sensational scenes.

Stan Wawrinka
EPA