One of the greatest rivalries in tennis resumes tonight Down Under as Roger Federer takes on Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2017 Australian Open final.
Despite their accomplishments, both were thought of as longshots to reach this stage. Federer was coming off a 6 month hiatus from a knee injury. Nadal also prematurely ended his 2016 season a few weeks early due to a left wrist.
Both though are playing well. Federer has three Top 10 wins beating Tomas Berdych and then five setters over Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka.
Nadal also had to go the distance in the last round besting Grigor Dimitrov and earlier in a win over Alexander Zverev.
Rafael Nadal leads 23-11
All matches: Nadal, 23–11
All finals: Nadal, 14–7
Grand Slam matches: Nadal, 9–2
Australian Open: Nadal, 3–0
French Open: Nadal, 5–0
Wimbledon: Federer, 2–1
ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 matches: Nadal, 12–4
ATP Masters Series/ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals: Nadal, 7–3
Best of five set matches: Nadal, 11–3
Five-set matches: Nadal, 3–2
Winning the match after losing 1st set: Nadal, 6–2
Best of three set matches: Nadal, 12–8
Outdoor courts: Nadal, 22–6
Indoor courts: Federer, 5–1
Tie-breaks: Nadal, 11–10
Clay courts: Nadal, 13–2
Hard courts: Nadal, 9–7
Outdoor Hard: Nadal, 8–2
Indoor: Federer, 5–1
Grass courts: Federer, 2–1
The winner of today’s match will set the record for the longest wait between Australian Open titles in the Open Era. Nadal is bidding to end an 8-year wait for the Australian Open crown and win here for the for the first time since 2009, while Federer is looking to end a 7-year wait and win here for the first time since 2010. The longest gap between winning Australian Open titles in the Open Era is 5 years – Boris Becker (1991 and 1996) and Andre Agassi (1995 and 2000). The longest gap between winning a Grand Slam title in the Open Era at the same event is 8 years – Jimmy Connors won Wimbledon in 1974 and again in 1982.
This is Nadal and Federer’s 12th Grand Slam encounter, putting them in 3rd place for the most matches played at the majors in the Open Era.
This is the 9th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which extends their lead for the most match-ups in a Grand Slam final in the Open Era.
Nadal has won 6 of their previous 8 Grand Slam final meetings – including here in 2009, when he won in 5 sets to win his only title at the Australian Open.
This is the 35th meeting between Federer and Nadal. This is the joint 6th-most matches played in a head-to-head at Tour-level in the Open Era.
Federer ended a 5-match losing streak against Nadal in their most recent meeting, the final at 2015 Basel. Last year was the first year since the pair’s first meeting in 2004 that they have not contested at least one match.
Nadal is on a 6-match winning streak against Federer at the Grand Slams, having not lost to the Swiss at a major since falling in 5 sets in the final at 2007 Wimbledon. Federer has won just two of their 11 previous meetings at the Grand Slams.
Of the pair’s 34 previous meetings, 21 have been finals. Nadal leads the head-to-head in finals 14-7.
Nadal leads the hard court head-to-head 9-7, and has won all 3 of their meetings at the Australian Open. As well defeating Federer in the final here in 2009, he also won their semifinal encounters in 2012 and 2014.
Nadal is one of just 3 active players who have had more than one career meeting with Federer to hold a winning head-to-head – the others are Djokovic (23-22) and Dominic Thiem (2-1).
Federer has a losing head-to-head against just 4 players at the Grand Slams where multiple matches have been played – Nadal, Alex Corretja (0-2), Arnaud Clement (1-2) and Djokovic (6-9).
Federer is aiming to win his 18th Grand Slam singles title and extend his all-time record for the most Grand Slams won. Nadal is bidding to win his 15th major title and claim sole ownership of 2nd place on the all-time list.
SUNDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
ROD LAVER ARENA
Mixed Doubles – Final
Abigail Spears (USA)/Juan Sebastian Cabal (COL) vs. Sania Mirza (IND) /Ivan Dodig (CRO) 
Not Before: 7:30 PM
Men’s Singles – Final
Roger Federer (SUI)  vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 
WUNDERGROUND.COM SUNDAY FORECAST
Plentiful sunshine. High 83F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Roger Federer 11/10
Rafael Nadal 4/5
US TV SCHEDULE
ESPN will have live coverage of the men’s starting at 3:00am ET. The match begins at 3:30am ET.
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