The Spaniard is bidding to become the first man to win each Grand Slam twice in the Open era, according to the tournament's official Twitter account:
However, there was more of a team feeling to Friday's events, and Nadal's heroics were outnumbered by the thrall of doubles fixtures that took place.
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci made up for their singles exits by triumphing in the women's doubles, while this year's mixed doubles final took shape after the semi-finals came to a close.
Read on for all the scores along with a recap of the highs and the lows from Day 11 at the Australian Open.
|2014 Australian Open Day 12 Men's Scores|
|Rafael Nadal (1) def. Roger Federer (6)||7-6, 6-3, 6-3|
|2014 Australian Open Day 12 Women's Doubles Scores|
|Sara Errani (1) & Roberta Vinci (1) def. Ekaterina Makarova (3) & Elena Vesnina (3)||6-4, 3-6, 7-5|
|2014 Australian Open Day 12 Mixed Doubles Scores|
|Sania Mirza (6) & Horia Tecau (6) def. Jarmila Gajdosova & Matthew Ebden||2-6, 6-3, [10-2]|
|Kristina Mladenovic & Daniel Nestor def. Jie Zheng & Scott Lipsky||6-3, 6-1|
Nadal Cruises in Clash of the Titans
The biggest headline from Friday's action is, of course, Rafael Nadal's 3-0 trouncing of Roger Federer. A tiebreaker triumph in set one allowed the Spaniard to take control for the rest of the contest.
Though Federer had been impressive for stages of the competition up until this phase, the loss served as another reminder that his aging legs struggle to cope with the athleticism of Nadal.
This was the 33rd meeting between Nadal and Federer—one of the most heated rivalries the sport has ever seen—and it did not lack for quality. The Swiss won only 11 fewer points than his rival through the first two sets, per the Australian Open's official website, but he was under pressure throughout.
The win didn't come without its share of sacrifice for Nadal, though. Sky Sports and BBC Sport showed the blistered torment he had to persevere through:
Though Federer put up an admirable defence at times, the power for which his semifinal opponent has become so renowned ultimately shone through.
The Australian Open's official Twitter account captured the winning moment:
For entertainment value, the match was superb. For those who would love to see the 32-year-old maintain his standards as one of the best of all time, it provided a more bitter signal of acceptance.
Despite all the hype currently surrounding Wawrinka and his rise on the big stage, there's a worrying gulf separating him from the unique pedigree Nadal possesses.
This will be the 28-year-old's first Grand Slam singles final, whereas his Spanish opponent has been on such a platform 18 times in the last nine years.
In the end, Nadal's staunch defence will prove worthy of repelling what Wawrinka has to offer while putting on arguably the strongest offensive display in men's tennis.
Prediction: Nadal 3-0 Wawrinka; wins second career Australian Open title
Mixed Doubles Finalists Decided
Both mixed doubles semifinals took place on Friday, with the Margaret Court Arena and Rod Laver Arena each playing host to one of the two penultimate encounters.
The latter saw Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau, sixth seeds in the tournament overall, end the hopes of Australian pair Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden.
For Mirza, it presents the opportunity to win a third mixed doubles title, and after slipping to defeat during the first set, the Indian hopeful stormed back with a spotless display alongside her Romanian partner to clinch the eventual tiebreaker 10-2.
Facing that duo in the Melbourne final is Canadian Daniel Nestor and his partner Kristina Mladenovic, who overcame Jie Zheng and Scott Lipsky in straight sets to reach the tournament's climax.
Nestor and Mladenovic didn't allow their inferior opposition to take a break point away from the fixture and were absolutely clinical in their approach, entering good form in time for the competition's close.
Errani and Vinci Live Up to Favourites Tag
Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci staged no surprises with a win in the final of their women's doubles final, but the Italians were pushed to the very end by Russian pairing Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
In the end, it was the unforced errors of Makarova and Vesnina that made the difference, as their mistake-ridden tally of 35 was a far more worrying sum than the 21 amassed by Errani and Vinci.
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