Pinch your arms. It’s really happening. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing another Grand Slam Final (a “Fedal”) against each other after two five-set semi-finals of absolutely amazing quality. And it feels like some kind of divine justice that the guys left standing are Federer and Nadal. This means that on Sunday Federer can win his 18th slam or Nadal his 15th. Who is your pick? This is what Bet365 says about the odds:They bookies at Bet365 obviously think that the head-to-head, 23-11 in Nadal’s favour, is a very important factor in this match. And it’s hard to deny that it is – Federer has struggled famously to deal with Nadal locking him in to the backhand corner with banana loop top spin. But as McEnroe humorously said on Eurosport – “The courts are faster, which gives us hope.”
Federer needs positives going into this match and faster courts is one of them. He also gets an extra rest day, but Nadal has not seemed affected by long, tiring matches in the past. Another obstacle Federer needs to get through is that Nadal has won their previous three meetings at the Australian Open.
Both players are older, have had injury concerns of late and seem to have a different, more mature and distanced outlook on their tennis careers. They’re also closer as friends. Will this make this contest different? Well, both players are desperate to win another slam. Federer hasn’t won since Wimbledon 2012 and Nadal since French Open 2014. There is also the greatest player of all time battle on the line (GOAT), Federer is chasing number 18 and Nadal number 15. If Nadal wins he’s just two slams from Roger, with a very good chance in reaching him. If Federer wins, the race looks sort of over from the grand slam title point of view.
For me personally it feels almost impossible to predict who will win. After two lost Wimbledon finals to Djokovic I think it’s Federer’s turn, but I can’t help but feel that Rafa is his number one most difficult opponent and that makes me tip my hat towards Nadal.
If I had a racquet to my face, I would go for Rafael Nadal to win his 15th grand slam.
Now I’m keen on hearing your opinions. Who do you think will win the Australian Open 2017?