The number says it all. Federer has poor 11-23 record against Nadal and in slam finals Federer could go past Nadal only two times out of eight that they played against each other. Only number that favours Federer and puts him on higher pedestal is his grand slam tally of 17 whereas Nadal has 14. If Nadal wins this one , he closes the gap and not to forget that he is aged 30 and has years on his side to surpass Federer’s tally.
Federer has a lot to defend today. His mindset reflected when he let out the secret when he admitted in the lead-up to the final that the clay battles with Nadal had left a scar. It is evident when Federer misses the points against Nadal in big moments. His backhand down the line shots often crosses the line against Nadal, his aces do not meet the T, there is something a miss every time he faces Nadal.
The good news is that he hasn’t faced Nadal for long and the previous defeats are less likely to play on his mind and we are more likely to once again see a Federer that makes us go wow and not the one who struggled against Nadal.
Nadal often claims that Federer is greatest player of all time and he is right because the elegance and the ease with which Federer plays tennis cannot be matched but Federer has to win this match for his fans and himself to remind the world that he remains the best in the business otherwise there is every chance that Nadal will run away with that glory when it comes to the stats and not the elegance. Whatever be the case, it’s hard not to say that Nadal is favorite in Australian Open 2017 final.