Andy Murray is out of the Australian Open, so get excited about a Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer final instead
Andy Murray getting knocked out of the Australian Open was a bit disappointing if we’re honest, but it has opened up the possibility of a very exciting Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal final.
With both in opposite sides of the draw, there’s a long way to go, but should they continue to win they will meet in a Grand Slam final for the first time since the 2011 French Open, where Rafa beat Roger 7-5 7-6 5-7 6-1.
We’ll start with Federer, whose excellent form continued with a five-set epic against Kei Nishikori. Look how much it means to him still, at the age of 35.
Federer remains one of the most graceful players on the circuit – a beautiful man.
Nadal meanwhile still has his fourth round match against Gael Monfils to come. He’s been plagued by injuries, so it’s unsurprising to see him so happy to be back on court.
In their heyday, Federer and Nadal swept all before them, contesting a grand total of eight Grand Slam finals, with Nadal winning six of them.
Those finals were often of a breathtaking standard, with the pair probably the two most beautiful shot-makers in the history of the game.
The matches were often epic encounters too, with the 2007 and 2008 Wimbledon finals going to five sets.
Federer has 17 Grand Slam titles, the most of any male singles tennis player in the Open era. However, he hasn’t won one since Wimbledon 2012, and Novak Djokovic has closed the gap, moving to 12.
Victory at the Australian Open would go some way towards Rog ensuring his record isn’t broken any time soon.
Meanwhile Nadal is even closer to Federer with 14 Grand Slam titles, nine of those won at the French Open. Victory in Melbourne would make him outright the second greatest male tennis player of the Open era, moving him away from Pete Sampras.
An 18th Grand Slam title for Federer would perhaps be the sweetest of his career, having lost three slam finals to Djokovic since winning his most recent major.
Meanwhile Nadal has consistently had to withdraw from tournaments due to injury – imagine how much he’d savour a final against his old rival.
This could be the best chance we get to see these two greats battle it out on the biggest stage one last time.
In 2014 the pair met at the semi-final stage, with Nadal triumphing – this should remind you of the quality they can still produce.