It’s a familiar storyline – Rafael Nadal played his best match of the tournament against Roger Federer (you can see images, highlights and interview excerpts here). This means the bull from Manacor plays Stanislas Wavrinka in the final. A player he has never lost to.
For us Federer fans, the 2014 edition of Australian Open still held many positives. Federer played aggressive tennis and beat both Tsonga and Murray. He looked content and comfortable with his new racquet and the presence of Edberg seemed to do wonders for his aggressive approach. Losing to a blistering good Nadal in the semis is not a bad result in any way and we should enter the rest of the season with an optimistic mindset.
About Rafa himself there’s much to say. He’s obviously an amazing tennis player who raises his game against the world’s best. But the way he tackled his gigantic blister in the middle of his racquet hand and how he was able to stay calm and collected – was remarkable.
It’s hard to see how Wavrinka, with his dismal record against Nadal (never having won even a set), can pose a threat to Nadal’s 14th slam, but hopefully the Swiss will be able to relax and play freely knowing that nobody expects him to win. And, it’s important to remember, Wavrinka is playing his best tennis to date, beat Djokovic and Berdych and managed to reach two tie-breaks against Nadal when they played last time in ATP World Tour Finals.
So let’s hope for a tight and entertaining match tomorrow! Despite my honest guess being Rafa winning in straight sets.
Ps. Does his domination of Federer make Rafa the best tennis player ever? It’s a looong discussion that never ends, but here’s a very interesting take on it!