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The 28-year-old Wawrinka reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open last year - his best previous run at a major - before losing to Djokovic in five sets. He has gone a step further this time- reaching a Grand Slam final at his 36th attempt.

Nadal was bothered by blisters on his left hand during his win over Grigor Dimitrov, the 22-year-old Bulgarian who took the first set off him in their quarterfinal and also had set points in the third. He had the hand heavily taped during the match, and admitted it affected his serve. He practiced on Thursday without all the tape, avoiding a lot of attention while the women’s semifinals were on.

The women’s final will feature 2011 French Open champion Li Na in her third Australian Open decider in four years against Dominika Cibulkova, who had never previously gone beyond the semifinals of a major.

No. 4-seeded Li Na won the first five games in her 6-2, 6-4 semifinal win over 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, and No. 20-seeded Cibulkova later trounced 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.

In her loss to Victoria Azarenka in last year’s final, Li twisted her ankle and fell over twice, and knocked her head hard on the court.

“I think is the third time, so pretty close to the trophy,” Li said. “Yeah, at least I try to not fall down this time, because last year in the final I think I played well but I only can say I was unlucky. At least I’ll try to enjoy and stay healthy.”