Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal Battle For The GOAT In The Australian Open Final, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | January 28th, 2017, 8:56 am
  • 219 Comments

What year is it again? Looking at the men’s final draw, you wouldn’t know that it’s 2017. You’d think it’s 2007! Only where’d Andy Roddick go? Oh wait, he was in Melbourne also this year, just not playing of course.

So the story of the men’s Australian Open has been the return of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Few thought we’d see ever see them meet again in a significant match let alone a freakin’ Grand Slam final. But here we are.

It’s really unbelievable. Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and even Stan Wawrinka have been dominating lately. Meanwhile, Roger’s had a bad knee, Rafa’s had his knee issues and now a wrist, and they’re both aging, struggling just to win any title – last year Rafa won five matches in Grand Slam play while Federer didn’t win a single title!

But the boys are back and this time it’s for the GOAT.

If Federer wins his 18th beating his rival Nadal, I think that cements his legacy as the greatest ever. To win another Slam at 35 after six months off the tour and to do it over your chief rival? Wow!

If Nadal wins, it’s his 15th Slam (still 2 behind Roger), but it’s his second “Career Slam”, something no one has done in the Open Era and something Roger will never do. And to do it beating Roger for a seventh time in nine Slam finals, the debate is over.

So who wins it?

Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal
Before the Grigor Dimitrov match, I would have leaned to Federer to get the job done and beat Rafa. But after watching Rafa’s return to form Friday, things just don’t look good for a Swiss win Sunday night in Melbourne.

If Rafa plays like he did at the start of the week, there’s hope for Federer. But if Rafa’s finding the range on his forehand and hitting his serve well, I don’t now how Roger can last.

Then there’s that head-to-head. Nadal leads 23-11 and he’s won six of eight in Slam finals. In fact, Federer hasn’t beaten Nadal in a Grand Slam final since 2007 Wimbledon. That’s over 9.5 years ago. 9.5 years!!

Plus, there’s Roger’s adductor injury and I have to think Nadal just got grooved against a player who’s almost identical to Federer in Dimitrov.

But there’s hope.

For Federer to win he has to serve well. That’s key. Forget the backhand, if he doesn’t serve well he’s finished. If he does then he’ll need to be firm on the backhand. He’s not as powerful as a Dimitrov off that wing, but he slices better. Use that. And attack the net at every chance, and maybe bring Rafa in, though the Spaniard is quite adept at volleys. Return of second serve will also be important.

For Nadal, it’s his forehand. When that’s on his game flows. So we’ll see that pattern of him hitting to Roger’s backhand. And also court positioning. He was doing a poor job of that the first week, but better now and he’ll have to stay up in the court to keep Roger defensive.

Other than that, Roger will have the crowd, the momentum, the history of playing well in Melbourne and the confidence of beating Berdych, Nishikori and Wawrinka – three matches he was never near the brink of losing unlike Rafa.

Rafa will be the healthier player, I think, even though he didn’t get the extra day off. And that’s an “X Factor” here: how healthy is Roger? Remember, he didn’t play for six months and already this event he’s had two five setters. At 35, that’s got to add up somewhere. So that gives me pause because against Nadal in a Grand Slam final you cannot be weary in the legs. Not when you could be out there for up to five hours!

But if Roger is 100%, he’ll have the court speed, the conditions, the crowd, but there’s just an avalanche of numbers going against Fed here. So unless Rafa just comes out flat and nervous…
The Pick: Nadal in 4

ESPN will have the coverage again at 3:30am. This one is worth getting up for (not that I should have to tell you). It’s for the GOAT!


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219 Comments for Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal Battle For The GOAT In The Australian Open Final, Who’s The Pick?

AndyMira Says:

Rafa in 4 or 5 of coz!!..Can’t wait to see what tactics Rog would employ this time to cover the liability of his one handed BH against rafa’s famous, ferocious, high and heavy topspin FH..is he gonna use SABR?…approached to the net often to disrupt rafa’s rythmn?Serve and volley over and over again?I don’t think he will stay on the baseline and rally with rafa for hours…He’s doomed if he’s going to do that…

As for rafa,what tactics he’s going to use?His passing shots not working to his perfection against Dimi…FH sprayed all over the place..so,let say roger very determine to use those tactics…can rafa handle it successfully?But then,rafa when he has to face the Great Roger Federer,all of a sudden,magically he can turned things to 360 degrees without a blink of an eye..i can’t wait to see this two greats solve the question that sure will come out boombastically from each other’s racquet…Who’s tactics will prove effective?And can Roger overcome the so called mental block against his biggest nemesis?….Let’s find out tomorrow…WOOOOHOOOO!!!..C’MON GUYS!!BRING IT ON!!!!


madmax Says:

Sean, I am going with Federer for the win. This is his time. I cannot wait to see the both of them play; hope it is high quality from the beginning. I will be as nervous as hell, I don’t mind saying that.

Your quote: “If Nadal wins, it’s his 15th Slam (still 2 behind Roger), but it’s his second “Career Slam”, something no one has done in the Open Era and something Roger will never do. And to do it beating Roger for a seventh time in nine Slam finals, the debate is over.”

No. That is why it is called, and will always be called, a Debate. For -v- Against, otherwise it wouldn’t be a debate, now would it?

…of course, argue all you like. :-)


madmax Says:

The thing is Sean, I had no expectations coming into this tournament, they were very low…but watching him play, I want to believe he will win.


Willow Says:

Dont do GOAT as such but i think if Rafa were to win another AO, for a second career GS, then they would be just about on par, and that conversation will start all over again, we will see though, cant wait, bring it on ….


AndyMira Says:

Ooppss!Forgot to say…i will be very happy if Rog win…but i’m also will fly to the moon and back again if rafa win…not to mention the non stop “Destroyed M’s sofa” session with Okie!!…Yee haa!!


madmax Says:

Willow, Rafa stands alone in 9GS clay court titles. Awesome. Just Awesome. He has gifts and talents that Roger will never possess. Equally, Roger has many gifts and talents that Rafa will never possess. It is impossible to equate the two for so many reasons.

A double career slam would set Rafa apart from everyone – for certain – but would that make him GOAT? I don’t know. I know you don’t do GOAT. Everything about those two is just fascinating to discuss and to debate.


Navdeep Says:

Come on fedal ! bring it on. Australia is blessed that they are getting a fedal final. The atmosphere, fans , players everygod damn thing would be magical. Can’t wait for it. Keep aside the ridiculous GOAT debate and enjoy the moment till it lasts !


Navdeep Says:

Come on fedal ! bring it on. Australia is blessed that they are getting a fedal final. The atmosphere, fans , players every god damn thing would be magical. Can’t wait for it. Keep aside the ridiculous GOAT debate and enjoy the moment till it lasts !


FedExpress Says:

Acorrding to Sean Federer should have been already out in the 3rd round.

To say that Nadal was back to form yesterday is an illusion. Yes, his fight and will to win was. But he commited UEs at crucial moments (coupled with couragous play also).

And to say Nadal is healthier is an overstatement. You cannot predict if someone will be healthy on match day. He isnt’t 23 anymore. Same applies to Fed.

It’s 50-50 match. And Fed has a better chance to beat this Nadal than the one he faced from 2005-2014.

Rafa also wasn’t in this situation for nearly 2 1/2 years.

And they haven’t met frequently since 2014. I think only 2 times, with one win apiece.

H2H means nothing on the day. Ask Wawrinka. Never won a match vs Rafa until the AO 2014, followed with two further wins.

As Fed fan, I will naturally cheer for Fed and hope he wins. It would be some story.


Navdeep Says:

oops! double time ! sorry


madmax Says:

3 minutes – so worth watching Federer and Rafa Fans – a throwback, but an analysis never the less.

In 2012, the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was all the talk! ATP legends, including Tim Henman, Mats Wilander, Pat Rafter, Goran Ivanisevic and Stefan Edberg, weighed in on the “who is the greatest” debate.

atpworldtour

Rafa & Roger set to resume rivalry in Australian Open final. Read: bit.ly/1Wq23rv
http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/australian-open-2017-sunday-federer-reaction

Listen to Yannick Noah


madmax Says:

FedExpress!

Now YOU are talking! and you know what?! I completely agree! :-)

Come on Fed!


Michael Says:

Whoever wins or loses, Tennis will be the ultimate winner when these iconic personalities of Tennis meet each other in this marquee clash of Titans which is a stuff of legend.

Now coming to the match, despite the fact that I want Roger badly to win, I just cannot foresee that possibility when Rafa is on the other side of the court. Despite many variables going for him, Roger still is at a comparativw disadvantage when he faces Rafa who always has something special when he plays Roger. And it is a final secured after quite some time and Rafa will be yearning to produce his best and he knows how to keep Roger on his toes each time they play targeting his back hand.

So, it will boil down to how Roger serves and how he manages to cope up with the ferocity of Rafa’s lethal forehand. The first set is very crucial for Roger if he has to win and boost his confidence. No doubt it will be a nerve wracking final for fans of both these legends.

Sean might be right in his prediction, but I will love if the Sean Jinx catch up with Rafa and Roger extracts a win somehow which is my faint hope. Let us hope there is a good fight and we are in for another marathon encounter.


Willow Says:

Michael jinxs and curses dont exist, its a silly notion ….


Docmed Says:

Fed doesn’t need a marathon match.fed in 4 sets period.


madmax Says:

I just can’t imagine that the same thing is going to happen again – Rafa targeting Roger’s backhand ad nauseam – seriously. It has been done and repeated so often that it has become annoying and tiresome – we know that, don’t we?

I watched how Roger has been adding much more top spin to his shots than he used to, but let’s just say that that is what Rafa is going to do, to hit the same spot, time over – what will Roger do? Take it? No way he will take it. He will either run around the backhand, though his backhand has been awesome this tournament, he has been given no credit for how well his backhand has been working and his movement too. Awesome Roger.

He needs to keep the pace fast, play the balls short, come to the net on occasion, though Rafa is so much better at the net than he used to be.

Sean and others, all talk about Roger so much, and his deficiencies – but Rafa too, is not the player he used to be, he has lost some speed and ferocity. He too, is 8 years on from the ferocious Rafa who played Roger in 2009 –

A repeat of 2009? No way. I don’t think Roger is given enough credit. Who the funch knows what his game plan will be this time, but I think he will get to mix it up a lot more than he has in the past, the courts are fast, he is hungry, fit and refreshed. I think that Roger will do it and I won’t allow myself to believe otherwise.


FedExpress Says:

As long as Fed does it i dont care how he does it.

This will be the best sporting moment in my life if he pulls that off.


All out Says:

It’s gonna be an interesting finals for sure. Roger is going in as the favorite given the lowish bounce of the surface. Yes yes he’s been playing awesome this tournament. So was he in 2009 and 2012 and countless other times he has come to the finals. But he gets flustered so easily when the game is not going according to plan. The Stan match showed it so clearly. Once he gets some doubt put into his mind he goes into a shell which is so difficult to break out of. It’s been happening regularly since 2010. He just got lucky that the stanimal’s level just dropped at a crucial time in the fifth set

Rafa is rafa. He does not play great tennis to win. He fights and scraps and wears his opponent down. It’s not his will to win that’s gotten him over the line against fed. Rather, I believe it’s his will to prove to himself that he can compete with roger enough. I’m sure even if he is the runner up he’s just gonna be happy he got the opportunity to prove to himself that he can still hang on with the best.

I believe if roger can keep the serve going for five sets he’s got a good chance of beating the Spaniard. But if nadal starts to hang tough and refuse to give in like he has done all tournament, he’s gonna be the third man to win each grand slam Atleast twice. My head says Federer but my heart will always say nadal. Over and out.


J-Kath Says:

A game plan doesn’t win the match…you can only plan your half – so it is all to play for.


Miles Says:

Really difficult to call this – Nadal had improved as the tournament has progressed. However, he has been on court a long time – his 2 five setters have lasted a lot longer than Federer’s. As fit as he is, might he finally, at almost 31, be feeling heavy legged tomorrow?

Federer’s fitness is an issue, too. Just how troubling is his injury?

As others have pointed out, I suspect it comes down to Federer’s serve – if he serves like he did against Andy Murray in the W 2015 semifinal, he’ll win. I suspect he might have to serve almost that well to do it.

Funnily enough, I don’t think he’ll feel under immense pressure – for him this must be such a bonus and, as such, he might be able to play with a freedom he hasn’t had in a major final since 2010.

I really hope both players stay fit for the final.


madmax Says:

J-Kath,

Rafa’s game plan in 2009 was to hit constantly to Fed’s back hand. He was relentless. it was his game plan and it worked. A game plan DOES win the match. It is the mindset to stick to the gameplan even when it goes awry during the match. Keeping the self belief that your game plan is the one that will win out.

Rod Laver

“Having matched up for many years, they’re older now, but still playing just great tennis,” said Aussie great Rod Laver. “They know each other’s game. Roger has improved his backhand and that would take away the advantage Nadal has with his forehand.”

All out Says:
But he gets flustered so easily when the game is not going according to plan.
January 28th, 2017 at 2:06 pm

This is what I mean, who doesn’t lose their flow and get flustered when MTOs happen. We are talking about the MTO taken by Stan which threw Roger off his stride. But, let’s be clear. Roger has been in the game long enough to develop a mental strength that I don’t think he gets enough credit for. In clutch moments, Roger has been fantastic. Imagine the pressure in tie breaks. Imagine. Roger does not get enough credit for this.

What I do agree with you on is that he cannot afford the mental lapses he has had in the past when it comes to Nadal. He has admitted that in the past this has ‘scarred him’. I think though, this will be – and will need to be – different, which is a bit of a stupid comment by me, to make because it is kinda obvious.

It’s do or die. Now or never. Fed’s chance to conquer the monster within him, which only he has created in his own mind. He can do it.


madmax Says:

Miles

“Funnily enough, I don’t think he’ll feel under immense pressure – for him this must be such a bonus and, as such, he might be able to play with a freedom he hasn’t had in a major final since 2010″.
January 28th, 2017 at 2:33 pm

The freedom to fly on court. I feel too, that he feels this is a bonus! Great comment!


Miles Says:

madmax – I agree, Stan’s MTO affected Federer. I suspect he thought Stan was going to retire and he struggled to regain his focus when he returned to the court. He needs to be wary of this tomorrow, too.

The way Federer has played this tournament suggests that he’s playing with less mental stress. He coped well in the 5th set against Stan and Kei, which bodes well.

I hope he wins.


andrea fehsenfeld Says:

as always, my heart sez fed. how nice to (maybe) finally win over his biggest rival, in a place where he had a horrible, sob inducing defeat. he’s come close in two wimby finals. if he does what he told jim courier “leave everything on the court even if it means i can’t walk for five months after” he could do it.

rafa was relentless on grigors backhand though and his backhand is flatter than fed’s. some of their exchanges were so bruising…i just can’t see rog keeping up to that over five sets.

if he serves amazing, can keep points short and carve out a lead, i can see it in his favor.

the unknown is the mental side and against no other player does roger get down on himself like when he’s playing nadal.


Miles Says:

Madmax – I’d love to see him play the way he did against Berdych! Fingers crossed!


madmax Says:

Miles, you have a calming disposition and I feel the same – that this is going to be a great atmosphere and Fed will do his best to win. If he can play with the freedom he has all tournament and not get bogged down in mental demons, then Federer will be as free on the court as he has ever been in his career. That is all we can ask for as fans. I am so very proud of him, and what he has achieved this tournament. It is unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

He doesn’t need to prove anything. If you read his pre- interview before he started the tournament – very low expectations – how could even he expect to get this far – he made no excuses – he just stayed focused on his goal – now he is here.

Now it is time to step it up, one more match. He said he would put everything on the court for this final, even if he could not walk for 5 months after – and I believe in what he says. He will walk on court with a different mindset tomorrow.

Free of the shackles that have been built up from both opposition and media pundits.

Go Federer!


Chrisford1 Says:

Aside from Davydenko being lucky enough to avoid playing Nadal on clay and getting a positive H2H in that matter, the only other player that has prevailed against Rafa over the long haul is Djokovic. And Novak noted last year that he moved ahead, but for 95% of his career, Rafa had the better of him in H2H.
That is how tough it is to beat Nadal.
Roger hasn’t beaten Rafa at a Slam since 2007, and he barely prevailed against him that year at Wimbledon.
In that context, H2H matters. And Fed fans can say it is all mental, but at some point in Fedal history, it became clear to non-Fed fanatics that Rafa ruled him just because he was the better player when they squared off.

It would be a great bookend to a career for Fed though. Beat the guy who owned him in their last Slam Final. Almost happened with Roddick in 2009 against the guy that owned him, at Wimbledon, that year.


madmax Says:

CF!,

I am not going to listen to anything negative about Federer or scare tactics from people such as yourself. Federer will play with the freedom he has, the whole tournament. It is you who should be scared, because right now, Federer is feeling on top of the world with the way he has played during this tournament. He will take this wave into the final tomorrow. You see.


BBB Says:

I’m on the record as not liking Federer, but I find him more at ease since he came back. I used to sense some entitlement from him, maybe a little crabby that he wasn’t on top, but I haven’t seen it since he’s been back. The six month layoff seems to have done wonders for him, physically and perhaps in terms of perspective as well.


Chrisford1 Says:

I wouldn’t call it scare tactics. Just the obvious.
And why should I be scared?
I consider Fed a great player lucky enough to get his trophy count padded by the weak era. While Nadal and Djokovic have less trophies but are arguably better players, IMO. But Roger is still a great player, nevertheless.
He rightfully belongs in the pantheon of Legends. Like Sampras, Borg, Djokovic, Laver, Nadal.
And Fed fans can still make the argument that Federer forced Nadal, and then Djokovic, to become better players.


madmax Says:

BBB,

Exactly. Perspective gives freedom. Something he hasn’t felt perhaps since the beginning of his career.

He is in a good place, a great place.


J.S. Says:

I think it’s awesome either way…Can Rafa recoop from his Dimi match? How bad is Roger’s injury?
It will come down to that, I think!!!
BOTH are extremely talented, friends, ambassadors, rich and DESERVING – they have earned this hoopla that we all love! :)
So impressed they did it and will have more class regardless of the outcome (more than most fans, sorry!) I RESPECT BOTH AND CANT WAIT FOR THIS MATCH!!!!

I am TEAM RAFA just because I want to WIN the bracket, LOL BUT if Roger wins I am still keeping my Rafa poster over my bed!


Willow Says:

I Think i need to stop blogging now, as im nervous enough lol, i could do with Navdeep, Okie, AndyMira, J.S, Jalep to calm me down, where are you guys ? ….


Willow Says:

J.S Glad your here ;-)) ….


J-Kath Says:

Madmax

Only if the opponent plays like the game plan that has been assumed he/she will play – but both Fed and Rafa are experienced enuf to abandon the plan if/when it is not achieving the results. That’s what makes this particular match more of a lottery….the default position springs into life.


J.S. Says:

WILLOW – Sending you some tequila!!! :)

Yep…This will be a different match, they both want it SO bad. It should be thrilling!

Betting Odds are favoring Rafa, SURPRISING!

Moya said typically as a coach they have times to meet a player, with Rafa you spend 100% of your time w/ Rafa and team. Maybe that’s why Rafa is so comfy win or lose? Lots of love and support from team/family!

Tomorrow they will start broadcasting 2 hours before the match!


Willow Says:

J.S OMG My stomach is in knots even now, i will cease blogging at some point soon, and go and watch some crappy reality programme to try take my mind of the match, 8.00 am Sunday morning where i am, switch of the phone, and i try to resist the temptation of blogging while a GS final is on, as it makes me even more nervous, when Rafa retires ive made up my mind never to get this emotionally invested in a player ever again XX ….


Willow Says:

Only time i was ever this nervous, was on my wedding day to Mr Willow ….


J.S. Says:

WILLOW – I will never invest in another player like Rafa!
It’s insanity!!! I GET IT…..
I will have to find another obsession soon.

PEACE SWEETIE!


Willow Says:

J.S well my late father used to watch Football alot, he was a Leeds United fanatic, but he used to say he got that nervous watching them, that it got to the point where he didnt enjoy it anymore, he said watching it was more enjoyable when you dont give a wotsit who wins ….


Willow Says:

Mr Willow cant stand tennis, so theres nobody to reasure me while im watching it either ….


Willow Says:

^ Reassure ^ ….


AndyMira Says:

Hey Willow!!Sis!…The match is still longggggggg long way ahead!don’t get nervous now okay?…..Here take a look at this…

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/f6/97/10/f69710213e91f95348308a4e5c66650c.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/00/c9/d0/00c9d0f2ad8e9dc04dc0437818bb981b.jpg


AndyMira Says:

Hey to all my dear RAFANS that i love and respect…Read this,it will soothe your worry a little bit….

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/news/news/Rafael_Nadal/40238/carlos-moya-nadal-is-doing-better-than-expected-after-the-battle-against-dimitrov-/


J-Kath Says:

On my way to bed I flicked on Tennis.com for 5 minutes – lo behold there are 850 Comments on the Rafa/Roger thread. The match is memorable even before it starts!

Sleep well all of you.


Humble Rafa Says:

If I win tomorrow, I agree the debate is settled once and for all. I am GOAT and GOAT owner. Ownership has privileges, you know.


James Says:

Irrespective of who wins the final, Federer is the GOAT. Even if Nadal wins his 15th Slam title, he cannot be considered greater than Federer who has more Slams and also weeks at number 1 ranking.

That being said, I hope Rafa wins in 4 sets.


AndyMira Says:

Agree James!!


skeezer Says:

@James.
That is correct. There is also one thing that after all the smoke clears: consistency. Fed as been at or near the top of the game regardless of who is in the game at any given time. Others have not.

But is Nadal wins this, he is surely the fav going into FO, and if he wins that, things are getting real close. Also If he can win at the fast AO, who says he cannot make a run at Wimby? He has proven he can. The trick here is how well is his body going to hold up through all this? Or can it?


Michael Says:

Hope this marquee and historical match lives up to the towering hype it has generated and doesn’t end up as a dampener. All are looking forward to an engrossing and enthralling contest and I hope these two players doesn’t spoil those expectations by producing their best.

That said, there is glimmer of hope for Roger that he can somehow turn this around given all the variables that are in play. I do not agree that the outcome of this match will settle the GOAT issue once for all. GOAT is mere perception and there is no singular criteria to be defined by mere H2H but a variety of other parameters including longevity and what Roger us doing at 35 is phenomenal beating three Top 10 players on course to finals after a layoff. The man at the other side of the net is also a master of comebacks. But it will be fair to compare the achievements of these players only when they finish their careers and H2H is one criteria but will not be the whole determinant.

And how can one leave Novak out of the equation in this GOAT debate ? He is 29 and has more years of good Tennis. All that he needs is one good year and he will be well in this GOAT equation.


Okiegal Says:

@Willow……Here I am! You are not alone. I’m as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! I hope when it’s all over I will be grinning like a Cheshire cat… I’m hanging with the felines tonite at the cat house!! How ever it goes down, win or lose, I am so glad that Rafa played some very tough matches and got to the finals!! Overall, I’m a happy camper!! Meow…😸😸😸😸😸


Okiegal Says:

@Willow…….Channel AndiMira, she’s the best calmer downer there is!!!


Navdeep Says:

Willow don’t be tense, Rafa is winning it and we will be treated with fedal magic. Enjoy the moment n don’t stress yourself


Michael Says:

Unless Roger finds an answer to the high bouncing and twirling balls to his back hand, things will be difficult at Roger’s end. This can be overcome to an extent by cutting short rallies and finishing points early. For executing this plan, you need a very high first serve percentage may be at around 70% or higher. This outcome at the court can save the day for Roger. Anything short and Rafa will savour it.


Danica Says:

The title is utterly ridiculous. For GOAT?? Really?

I will just enjoy the match. Can’t wait for it to start. Would love for Rafa to win it but will not mind if Roger does it. I just hope it’s going to be more interesting then the women’s final.


Margot Says:

Deja vu Danica…:)


madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
A game plan doesn’t win the match…you can only plan your half – so it is all to play for.

January 28th, 2017 at 2:30 pm

J-Kath,

Rafa’s game plan in 2009 was to hit constantly to Fed’s back hand. He was relentless. it was his game plan and it worked. A game plan DOES win the match. It is the mindset to stick to the game plan even when it goes awry during the match. Keeping the self belief that your game plan is the one that will win out.

J-Kath Says:
Madmax

Only if the opponent plays like the game plan that has been assumed he/she will play – but both Fed and Rafa are experienced enuf to abandon the plan if/when it is not achieving the results. That’s what makes this particular match more of a lottery….the default position springs into life.

No. I disagree. Sticking to the game plan – you can’t have a lottery of shots – yes, adjustments of course, when the game has it s peaks and troughs, but the game plan is the foundation. You account for things like this to happen, but you stick to the game plan – the bedrock of your game for that match.

Are we saying the same thing but from different angles?


madmax Says:

Well, I had a mixed sleep – to be expected – it feels like taking a very important exam again – and having revised so hard, this is it, the day has come!

Good luck to both players and a decent thread full of great comments.


madmax Says:

Australian Open: Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal tipped as ‘biggest’ final ever

Officials will take the unprecedented step of opening up Margaret Court Arena and telecasting the final on a big screen inside the 7,500-seat stadium, with the champion set to speak at the venue after the match.

“It’ll be the biggest crowd (at Melbourne Park) for a finals’ weekend, for sure,” tournament director Craig Tiley said.

“From a global audience point of view, we know last year our event surpassed 350 million globally that watched it. All the indicators that we’ve got as we stand here now (suggest) that we’ll surpass that number.


jatin Says:

I was so nervous the whole night, couldn’t even sleep much. Never felt such tension before a fed match ever.
Only one 48 minutes left.


J.S. Says:

You have less than 1 hour to get ready!!!!

EPIC
FEDAL
EPIC
FEDAL
EPIC
FEDAL


Margot Says:

Well, I really do hope this match lives up to all the hype.
AM: are you sitting comfortably on the dear old sofa, or are you already behind it? xxxxxxxxxxxxx


Giles Says:

JUST DO IT!!
Vamos Rafa!


Navdeep Says:

I told u before Giles he will do it


J.S. Says:

HAHA I THINK THE REAL WINNER IS NIKE, HAHA – They look like twinkles walking out!! :)

LETS GO RAFA!!


Willow Says:

Navdeep thanks for trying to ease my nerves, sorry but it hasnt worked though lol, i asked the Green Man on my wall plaque for a Rafa win just now, its whats called cosmic ordering, and i have some crystals near this laptop which i will clutch, i wasnt even this nervous on my wedding day lol ….


AndyMira Says:

@M…I am practicing scissor kick,chopped on the head and lawn mower fist to your sofa atm with okie…i gotta say M…your sofa is in SUPERB condition still!!!..WOOOOHOOOOO!!!…LOVE U M!!!Support RAFA M!!!


Navdeep Says:

Willow
‘ I wasn’t even this nervous on my wedding day’ . ROFL


jatin Says:

Hey Willow, its gonna be an awesome match. Who knows how many comments would this thread end up with after the match … LOL
Tennis.com has already suppressed 1100 comments in roger vs rafa preview thread.
Damn nervous I am.. Game on


J.S. Says:

OMG wedding day!!!!??? LOL that’s the best POST EVER!


J.S. Says:

Nice Start from Rafa…..YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!
Love service game – I like…..Let’s see what Roger does??

Wish we could chat live – SO FUN!


jatin Says:

Good tactics, set need to settle in


AndyMira Says:

Rafa must take an opportunity that is given to him wisely and not make too many uncharacteristic UE’s…


J.S. Says:

They both seem a little nervous – BUT my tummy is in KNOTS so can’t imagine how they must feel…
OH This is Crazy Fun!


jatin Says:

Fed playing aggressive, very nice.


FedExpress Says:

why cross court that BH? why not down the line.

come on fed


AndyMira Says:

Rafa’s 1st serves seems clicked atm..That means he’s very confident..hope it will clicked till forever!


squirrel Says:

And so it begins..good luck everyone..

Allez Roger!!


jatin Says:

WOW FED


jatin Says:

Super awesome game by fed… Just hold now :)


FedExpress Says:

come on you beauty

break
now breathe and hold


squirrel Says:

Roger breaks yay. Wow what a game by Fed, he is reading superbly well Nadal’s serves! Great news!


AndyMira Says:

Wooohooo!!Rog broke 1st!…Ho ho ho…


squirrel Says:

Great you’re here FedExpress. But where are skeezer, madmax and jatin?? Come on Fed cheerleadeing team!


jatin Says:

FED just play like this man… just play like this


squirrel Says:

Omg..god mode by Fed.. :)

Willow, hope you’re feeling better with your nerves, try to enjoy ok?


squirrel Says:

Yes jatin, I think he will!


jatin Says:

Serve it out fed… comon


Docmed Says:

Fed is fired up here.let’s hope my prediction comes through


FedExpress Says:

so fed will serve for the set. plz fed make it easy. no pain. plz


jatin Says:

squirrel
I hope so, because right now he is playing his vintage best.
1st set is in the bag :)


squirrel Says:

Yay first set to Fed! Things are going well so far.


jatin Says:

If fed can serve like this and take the ball as early on his backhand as he is doing right now, then he can win.. COMONNNNNNNNNN


FedExpress Says:

cöoooooooommmmmm onnmmmmmmmnnnnn

that first he lost in this service game i thought here we go again

but what a response

genius


Margot Says:

Fed playing WOWZER tennis at the mo., and that back hand has been really improved.
Can he keep this up?
Doubt if my sofa is quite enough for dear Rafa fans at the mo.


kriket Says:

I gotta say I+m rooting a little bit for Fed, cos he was in so many of those finals against Đoković in recent years that I feel like he deserves to win one after all. Nadal was injured or out of form most of that time.


madmax Says:

I am here Jatin, FedExpress. Don’t you worry!

Fed is in God mode today. The Maestro is on filre!

This is what is needed. Great so far.


J.S. Says:

Nice set by Roger….

NOW even it up, RAFA!!!

COME ON!!!!


FedExpress Says:

nadal at his best. never losing his energy. set this is. Fed BH looks phenomaal. but sometimes he has to give when it is constantly attacked by rafas FH


madmax Says:

Same as Willow earlier – mixed night’s sleep – but let’s go, let’s go!

C’MON!


squirrel Says:

Break point by Nadal already, but saved, let’s see how Fed reacts..


AndyMira Says:

YES!!!!!BREAK!!!!!WOOOHOOOOO!!!!


squirrel Says:

Bope Fed reels back from this lapse of focus..


FedExpress Says:

self inflicted breal from fed

some dumb moves. why direct the shot back to nadals fh everytime. you have an open court.

it looks rafa the monster has awaken


squirrel Says:

Break point for Fee but lots of errors so far in this set.


FedExpress Says:

fed has to tak advantage.


FedExpress Says:

i cant. shank. missed oppurtunities. but i believe somehow.


squirrel Says:

Fed’s backhands are getting weaker by th minutes, wonder why..

Nice hold by Nadal


FedExpress Says:

maaaaaannnnnnn
why? just why?


J.S. Says:

I think RAFA is now warm….LOL!!!
This man loves a 5 setter….WHAT A BULL DOG!

I love these guys!


jatin Says:

Fed has hold here.


FedExpress Says:

this set feels like gone. nadal making it physical. fed having brain farts he is sensing that he can win this. hencr nervous and tight. BH going from majestic to catastropic.


FedExpress Says:

fed making some questionable decisions. good he won the 1st set without blinking too much.


FedExpress Says:

he is getting murdered right now.


kriket Says:

So why is Fed choking now? I just don’t understand


FedExpress Says:

this is one way traffic at the moment.

wtf happened?


J.S. Says:

Yikes Rafa is up 4-0 – Come on Roger!
I am TEAM RAFA but want a close match. Looks like Roger might break back here?? YES OR NO??


madmax Says:

It is what it is. Time to regroup.


FedExpress Says:

fed leads by one set, then makes some dumb decison. open court and he chooses everytime to give it back to rafas fh.

and some dumb net rushes.


madmax Says:

FEDEXPRESS,

Remember what you said. You are only going to give yourself a heart attack otherwise. Try to enjoy the match. This IS Tennis.

Us tennis fans – we are so in for the ride of our lives.

Come on!


FedExpress Says:

at least make sure you start serving first in the 3rd set.

feels like 2012


J.S. Says:

FedExpress – He’s back in it, Don’t worry!
Rafa just jumped into another gear, scary stuff – AND Federer broke back!!! :)


jatin Says:

The positive thing is fed is in rafa’s game all the time, he just needs to find his rhythm again. He cannot afford to lose focus at this point of the match.


FedExpress Says:

madmax, but it makes me angry.

rafa serving shit but already (was) double break up. he isnt playing extraordinary stuff. fed shanking and missing all over the place.


J-Kath Says:

Gosh – Strange match.


madmax Says:

Come on! Roger –

Come on!


madmax Says:

He will find the rhythm, these are early days. The first set will have given him confidence and will have woken up Rafa!

It is nothing new.


FedExpress Says:

please even nadal has to win this set. make sure he serves it out and you start the 3rd set serving first, fed


madmax Says:

It’s a great match and I am loving it!

Come on!


madmax Says:

All this tension – and so early on –

FedExpress – don’t worry. Go with the flow, the peaks and the troughs.


squirrel Says:

Fed’s level is sort of weird atm..hmm. Not so positive he could stay in the match though..


madmax Says:

My God,

Can you imagine the pure concentration and focus needed for this final but not only that, the talking with the team beforehand, the psychologists, the whatevers, the family and the friends, the self-belief, the shot making, the anticipation – It’s tremendous.


FedExpress Says:

hold federer. please hold. rafa making it really physical. it shows he is fit.


AndyMira Says:

THANK U GOD!!52 NOW!!


jatin Says:

Fed should hold this, and try again to break rafa.


squirrel Says:

Ditto madmax


madmax Says:

squirrel,

Don’t worry. Let the match unfold. His level is not weird at all. This is fed. This is what he does. It’s just a rollercoaster for this fans.


FedExpress Says:

nadal will invest everything in this return game. trust me. serving first in a set ist such an advantage. and fed hadnt had the luxury so far


FedExpress Says:

feeling sry for fed BH and arm a little bit. constant pressure with a chance to take a breath.


jatin Says:

Fed is serving first, he should serve great… Please fed….


FedExpress Says:

think this set will decide feds fate more than nadals. he has to win. no when and buts.


AndyMira Says:

WOOOOHOO!!2nd sets in hand!!YEAH!!VAMOS RAFA!!


Margot Says:

And Rafa fights back, of course.
Darling AM you can start breathing now and allow yourself a peep from behind the sofa.
Sorry all you stressed folk, but I’m really enjoying this!


madmax Says:

FedExpress,

Go and see someone about this, talk to someone :-) because you are your own worst enemy.

The positives: Fed was 0:4 down, he came back to 3: – that is strength and spirit.

Game on!

The rust has been shaken off. Now let’s get started!


FedExpress Says:

where was the backand in the 2nd set. on holiday?


madmax Says:

Go and take a break FedEx.


Daniel Says:

What are you guys in the wrong tread, there isnone for the finals? Am there alone not gerting it kkkkkk


FedExpress Says:

for a moment i thought you meant the real federer, madmax lol


Daniel Says:

Finally held, complicated a 40-0 game. Now go on and pressure Nadal’s and stop missing silly shots.


jatin Says:

I want to LAUGH right now.. Fed is fighting his mental demons right now


squirrel Says:

Nice hold! At last, the famous Fed’s fighting spirit emerges! Hope it will continue to do so!


madmax Says:

FedEx!

That’s more like it! Humour! The antidote to awesome, stressy tennis matches. Daniel and the others are on the open thread – so perhaps we should head there? Jatin? the rest of the team?


jatin Says:

Just play agressive fed.. You can do it.. You can win against those demons…


madmax Says:

Yes – the maestro’s fighting spirit!

Come on!


FedExpress Says:

okay lets move there


madmax Says:

Play aggressive. Yes Jatin. Good to see you here. :-)


squirrel Says:

Is Fed from set 1 is back?? Great first two pounts! Breathetaking!


madmax Says:

Jatin,

Will you go to the open thread, which TX has opened for the final. We are heading there now to keep Daniel company.


J.S. Says:

These first 2 games in 3rd set are SICK TENNIS!!! OMG who will break first?


Daniel Says:

FH clicking again, BP


Daniel Says:

Now HOOOOOLLLLLDDDDD


squirrel Says:

Fed’s fighting spirit y’all! Yes a break!!


J.S. Says:

Where is open thread?


jatin Says:

Where is it madmax ?


AndyMira Says:

@M…U spoke too soon did u know that?And rafa is on the verge to lose the 3rd sets now!!!


AndyMira Says:

HO ho ho ho…3rd sets to rog now!!!..Uhuk!uhuk!uhuk!!Please leave me alone!!


kriket Says:

I don’t think I ever saw Fed talking to himself between points like he was just now.


AndyMira Says:

WOOOOOOHOOOO!!!..that winner!!!!!


AndyMira Says:

YES!!!!5 2 now…please hold rafa!!


All out Says:

This does not feel like a fedal final. I expected better from both. Fed missed some sitters throughout the match. Rafa showing effects of the five setter against dimi. His movement looks ragged and not at all fluent. Hopefully we can get a decider and some much needed action please.


Daniel Says:

Fifth it is!!

Damm, in a few minutes they will play the most important set of their careers and one of them will be lifting the trophy.

Hope Fed gets back playing like he did in odd sets, he has it in him. Just serve great and keep the attacking going, can’t have a bad game anymore. Who ever breaks first takes it.


Margot Says:

2 sets all.
Darling AM will you talk to me now?


Nits Says:

Medical or mental time out


AndyMira Says:

@M…My Queen..i’m not only will talk to u BUT i will be your slave for the rest of your life if rafa win today!!!!WooooHoooo!!!..I LOVE U M!!!


Daniel Says:

Over. Bad karma for Fed, another five set loss to Nadal.


AndyMira Says:

YES!!!!Break!!!!


Daniel Says:

15-40, first BP on deuce side, is now or never Federer. Have to break otherwise he will regret missed chances and lose badly this set


Markus Says:

Ouch. I don’t want two ouchers.


Daniel Says:

Lucky net cord for Fed, another BP. Do it!


Markus Says:

Nadal is not making errors. Looks like the Nadal of old.


Markus Says:

Three ouches! You’re out!


Daniel Says:

Game Federer, 2-1 Nadal, 4 more chances to break, only if Nadal feels the pressure and make silly mistakes, which he is not making in a long time. I think he only did 1 DF whole match.


Daniel Says:

40-40, c’mon Fed. break back


Daniel Says:

Nadal hitting bad in his racquet, ball could go out and luckly went in deep. Dmm


Daniel Says:

Nadal saves another game. Chances demising for Fed, 3 more games to try break back. Dmm he was unlucky this game, Nadal hitting bad, balls short or near miss and still got th game


Daniel Says:

2 easy holds for Fed and had BP chances in both Nadal’s game. time to break. Keep the pressure


Markus Says:

If you watch objectively, you cannot but be impressed with how Nadal is playing today. Very focused, very mentally tough. I think in his whole career, playing against Federer seems to put him in the zone. Federer on the other hand, seems to fall off his zone against Nadal.


Markus Says:

Hiccups at the big points. Story of Federer’s life against Nadal.


rombie Says:

GOAT declared


AndyMira Says:

Well….Rog deserve it…he’s playing crazy crazy tennis today..Congrats to him and ALL FEDFANS…as for my fellow rafans..we should be proud of him…Vamos rafa!!


Navdeep Says:

congrats Federer. U were too good. Rafa tried his best but his serve didn’t worked much tonight


All out Says:

Well done roger. Today was just not nadal’s day. You totally deserved it today. Don’t get disheartened rafa.. You did well today considering the way you played last year. Go get that French open.. Vamos!!!


Super Says:

Well tennis fans, history has been made again.

Congratulations to Roger for winning his 18th, and to Rafa for playing a dramatic final. It wasn’t the prettiest tennis by far, but these two have proven time and time again that they are gladiators.

It’s a shame one of them has to lose, but that’s tennis.


AndyMira Says:

@M….I am now will Fedex back your sofa…SORRY,it’s damp and soggy and full of 1001 liquids that i don’t recognized…with it i will attach a plate of gratefullness,a bucket of tears,a full bed of roses,and a full house of LOVE!!Thank u thank u thank u for your nice and loving supports..LOVE U MUCHO!!


FedExpress Says:

madmax, daniel, jatin

i cant descirebe what i am feeeling now

i am done


rognadfan Says:

It’s the sweetest victory of all for Roger for sure and for all the fans to. This was an amazing match. Especially the 5th set was unbelievable how Rafa actually played under such pressure. But it was too much even for a man of Nadal’s mental strength.
For federer, never imagined he could press Nadal game after game in the Fifth set.
Just keeps proving age is just a number.


Nithish Says:

Congrats to Roger Federer on his 18th grand slam.


J.S. Says:

CONGRATS TO ROGER AND ALL HIS FANS!!!!

GREAT DAY!!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Amazing. How sweet. What fight from Rog, all through the fifth set, taking Rafa to break points on EVERY service game from him, overcoming all those missed chances.


Michael Says:

What a helluva of a match and I honestly didn’t expect such grit, endurance and determination from Roger especially against Rafa and being behind in the fifth set with a break against. I was expecting the familiar story of Roger wilting and falling to Rafa’s tenacity, consistency and gutsy play. By Jove, how Roger proved me wrong by taking five straight games and the match.

Even at 5-3 serving for the Championship, he had two break points against him and I thought that Rafa would somehow end Roger’s dreams for a 18th major title in a high stakes match for both the players. But somehow he held firm, unperturbed and highly focused without nerves and just played point by point to somehow finally win his 18th and how big and mighty number that it is in the history of men’s sport and Roger thoroughly deserved it just because he proved that even at 35, you can win. And how well he did that in what must be a brutal draw beating top 10 players and three encounters of over 5 sets and it is all a dream come true after a gap of over 5 years.


Michael Says:

And my commiserations to Rafa and his fans. They must not lose heart for Rafa played like a Champion and he was so near and yet so far because Tennis is a cruel sport highly favouring the winner without much consolation to the loser.

But Rafa is back and is looking in fine mettle and excellent shape. It was not just his day as Roger played some breath taking shots taking the steam out of him. And when Roger is on a song there is not much the player in the opposite end can do but blame tough luck.

Rafa will have his chances at Rolland Harris where he might win No. 10 if all goes well.


Willow Says:

Thankyou Michael i was delighted he even made the final ….


FedExpress Says:

Christopher Clarey tweeted this:

No public retirement plans but Federer on ESPN on the “if not” line to Aussie crowd: “Because you never know. I’m not getting any younger”


J-Kath Says:

Huge congratulations to all Fed. fans – what a wonderful day for you. And to Rafa fans – they can now relax as they can take great pride in Rafa who also played lights out. What a competitive year it is going to be.

Cheers and Hugs.


Michael Says:

Of course Willow. You are right. Both these players deserve all the accolades for braving the odds and as Roger rightly said during the trophy presentation ceremony he would have shared it with Rafa if possible as there was no loser today and Tennis had two winners. It is unreal but true.


Anto Says:

Congrats to Roger for this 18th grand slam. By doing so he became the second oldest player to win a grand slam. Even though I am a huge Nadal fan, I am happy for Roger.

Also I am a bit sad also given the fact that it was an opportunity for Nadal to became the first man in Open Era to win a double career grand slam. This probably was his last opportunity because I don’t see him reaching another Australian Open final let alone win it.


Willow Says:

Michael its alright, i dont live and die by tennis ;-) ….


J.S. Says:

I felt bad for Rafa too but after reading this, I feel better!
http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2017-01-29/rafael_nadal_290117.html

Off to dinner and congrats ROGER and his Fans!


rognadfan Says:

Rafa really played at a whole another level as compared to his previous rounds. especially prior to SF. His mental strength was on full display today and the shot making was very much like in old days.
That said, it came as a surprise to me that Fed really beat him by standing his ground on the BH and beating RF frequently from the BH. I didn’t think it would last for the entire 5 sets but boy was I wrong.
Now Rafa is right up there in the mix for RG and Fed for the SW19.


jatin Says:

FedExpress
Just enjoy the moment mate, you were always here cheering for fed, even if your way of cheering is different from others.
It feels like the full circle.
Aussie open 2009 made me his fan, it was the first tennis tournament I followed for full 14 days, and it made fell in love with fed’s game and left me so emotional when he lost and Cried in the finals. And now after 8 years, same stage, same opponent, he has Done it. Its UNREAL !


J.S. Says:

ROGNADFAN
I really thought Rafa was going to win after being a break up in the 5th. Roger is more deserving, he went above and beyond – HATS OFF TO HIM!

What an amazing day for tennis Fans!!! I could do this every Sunday :)

So happy they are both SO LOVED!


Anto Says:

@JS even I too thought Roger deserved this title more. Especially given how he managed to keep on trying even after losing that many break point opportunities.


Alexandra Says:

It’s time those two legends don’t get written off constantly. Let them end their career how they think they want to. We are lucky to have them.

It’s time to worry about the sorry state of the top ten, excluding Djoker, Andy, and partially Stan. But the rest of them??


skeezer Says:

“The Pick: Nadal in 4″
Ahem.


Renneil Says:

Rafa’s serve let him down last night….But credit to Roger, he played unbelievable tennis….At 35, Fed has just raised his game to another level….If anything, Djokovic, Murray and the rest of the guys would have to raise their level now….

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