The Australian Open fairytale is here. Roger V Rafa will face off once again. It’s been seven years since Federer won his last Australian Open title and eight years since Rafa won his only Australian Open title. The early exit of warm favourites Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray was a shock but Roger and Rafa have played some exceptional tennis and are worthy finalists.
Roger Feder (#17) if successful will become the lowest ranked Grand Slam champion since Gaston Gaudio (#44) who won the 2004 French Open. Furthermore Roger will become the first Grand Slam champion to accumulate four wins against Top 10 players since Mats Wilander in 1982. Nadal will always be remembered as the “King Of Clay”, dominating the clay surface and winning 9/14 of his Grand Slam titles at the French Open. He hasn’t been as successful as he would have liked on other surfaces but a second Australian Open title will help significanty.
Head To Head:
Federer and Nadal have played each other on 34 occasions. Rafa is 23-11 against Federer and 3-0 at the Australian Open, winning the 2009 final in five sets, the 2012 semi-final in four sets and the 2014 semi-final in straight sets. It is worth nothing that the pair have played in 21 finals, with Nadal leading 14-7, including victories at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
Nadal’s record is extremely impressive against Roger, with five out of the past six matches going his way. Both struggled last year from injury and making the final, especially at Grand Slam level is a terrific result. At 35 years of age, even Roger himself admitted he was amazed as to how far he was able to progress in this years Australian Open, “If someone would have told me I’d play in the semis against Stan, never would i have called that one”. Roger is a crowd favourite, everyone adores him and no matter what the result, he will go down as a champion. After watching Rafael Nadal claim victories over Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, it is evident Rafa has regained his determination to win. The Spaniard is a fierce competitor and will use his booming left handed forehand to bully Roger around the court and test the 35 year old’s fitness. Nadal is a man on a mission and nothing, not even Roger Federer will be able to stop him tonight.
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