Nadal vs. Federer
|Date & Time||Sunday January 29, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Federer +110 / Nadal -130 -- Over/Under:
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet in the final of the 2017 Australian Open.
Roger Federer is coming off a five set win over Stan Wawrinka that took 47 games to decide. In the victory, Federer won 72 percent of his first serve points and 58 percent of his second serve points. Federer is coming off his most draining match yet but should be rather fresh considering he hasn’t played since Thursday morning. Federer did acknowledge a leg injury during his post match press conference, but the 35-year-old is moving well on the court and hasn’t shown any glaring signs of being hurt. Federer is returning well in this tournament and has given himself 42 break chances in his last three matches. As long as Federer continues to be aggressive and keep his opponent on his toes, you have to like his chances. Federer looks for his first grand slam title since the 2012 Wimbledon and his fifth Australian Open title. Federer has won 11 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a five set win over Grigor Dimitrov that took 57 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 73 percent of his first serve points and 69 percent of his second serve points. Nadal has been a machine this tournament, as he’s buckled down in tough spots and has been very tough to break overall. He’s looking more and more like the traditional Nadal, who refuses to lose and simply finds a way to come up away with the critical points. However, there have to be serious concerns with Nadal’s fatigue, as this is a drastic turnaround for somebody who just played a five set match that lasted five hours. The match also had a lot of twists and turns that took a lot of emotion to get through. Nadal looks for his first grand slam title since the 2014 French Open and his second career Australian Open crown. Nadal has won 11 of his last 14 grand slam final appearances. Nadal has won eight of his last nine matches on hard court.
These two have played 34 times in the past and Nadal has won 23 of those meetings. The most recent match was in Basel in 2015, a match Federer won in three sets. Nadal has won five of the last six meetings against Federer, including the last four on hard court. Nadal is also 9-2 against Federer in grand slams.
I find it very tough to bet against Nadal, as the guy is a machine who simply finds a way. I’ve said it before, you have to beat Nadal to beat Nadal. However, I picked Federer to win this tournament before it started and he has to have the advantage given the major rest factor. Nadal is coming off a grueling matchup and it’s only fair to question how much he has left in the tank. The head to head and possibly the play overall may give the edge to Nadal, but I favor Federer simply off the rest advantage.
Give me Federer in a classic Australian Open matchup.