Despite a slew of upsets at the 2014 Australian Open, there'll still be plenty of star power on display in the men's singles semifinals as two of the sport's most decorated champions are set to face off at Melbourne Park.
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will take on four-time Aussie Open champion and arch rival Roger Federer in the tournament's marquee semifinal on Friday, Jan. 24 (Day 12).
But before those two meet, it'll be Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka squaring off in the opening semifinal on Thursday, Jan. 23 (Day 11).
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know to make sure you don't miss a single point.
When: Thursday, Jan. 23 through Friday, Jan. 24
Where: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Date||Match||Start Time (local)||Start Time (ET)||TV|
|Thur, Jan. 23||Tomas Berdych (7) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (8)||7:30 p.m.||3:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Fri, Jan. 24||Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Roger Federer (6)||7:30 p.m.||3:30 a.m.||ESPN|
Tomas Berdych (7) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (8)
Which player will reach the Aussie Open final for the first time in 2014?
After three straight disappointing quarterfinal exits at the Australian Open, seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych is through to the semifinals in Melbourne for the first time in his career. Oddly enough, the 28-year-old Czech will be playing another veteran making his semifinal debut Down Under.
No. 8 seed Stanislas Wawrinka is set to make his second career Grand Slam semifinal appearance on Day 11. However, it'll be the second in a row for the 28-year-old Swiss star, who reached the semifinals at the 2013 U.S. Open last summer.
While this appears to be an even matchup on the surface, keep in mind that Wawrinka is quietly in the midst of a three-match winning streak against Berdych, recently beating him at the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals in London and on the hard courts at the 2013 U.S. Open before that.
If there's an advantage to be had for Berdych, though, it'll be having slightly fresher legs than his opponent, per The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg:
Stan Wawrinka delays his press by 20 minutes. Some extra time to bathe in the ice bath and the afterglow is more than deserved. #ausopen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 21, 2014
Wawrinka will be just 48 hours removed from a grueling five-set match against the three-time defending tournament champion that featured an 80-minute-long fifth set and required an incredible amount of focus. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see how he fares in the opening stages.
Regardless of who starts faster, this match has the potential to go the distance given how physically and mentally tough both men have been to this point.
Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Roger Federer (6)
One of tennis' all-time great rivalries will be renewed this January, as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who have combined to win 30 major titles, will meet for the 33rd time on Day 12 Down Under.
Nadal leads the head-to-head 22-10 and has won four straight meetings since the start of 2013. On top of that, Rafa is 8-2 against Fed in Grand Slam matches, beating him twice in two tries at the Australian Open.
But don't anticipate a one-sided matchup on Day 12. As Federer alluded to after his quarterfinal win over Andy Murray, these two champions never fail to put on a show:
#Federer "I'm looking forward to tonight, giving my team a high-5, then I'll think of playing with Rafa. We'll slug it out in a cple days."— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 22, 2014
Federer and Nadal last met at Melbourne Park in 2012, with Rafa winning in four sets to reach the final. Before that, Nadal needed five sets and nearly four-and-a-half hours to knock off Federer for the Australian Open title in 2009.
Rafa hasn't won the Happy Slam since then, though, and will need to get through the Swiss maestro once again in order to add a 14th Slam championship to his legacy. Meanwhile, a victory for Federer will place him just one win away from building on his record count of 17 major titles.
With the stage set for the Australian Open's marquee showdown, all that's left to do is watch.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.