In one of the greatest tennis matches of all time, Rafael Nadal has qualified for the Australian Open Men’s Final.
On Wednesday, he defeated Roger Federer 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 in a classic semi-final. Nadal is now looking for his second Australian Open crown, having defeated Federer in five sets in 2009, while Federer is a four-time champion.
A major turning point in the match came in the second set, when Nadal seemed out of a particular point, but ran from one end of the court to the other and hit the cross court winner. When he made contact with the ball, the fans in the stands could have reached out and touched him.
There is a question now if Federer is still the best ever because he is 2-6 against Nadal in Grand Slams. I still think he is, but needs to win one more Grand Slam title to avoid questions.
World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who won the U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon last year, will play world number four Andy Murray of Great Britain tonight. Prior to the tournament, I gave the slight edge to Murray because of his victory in Brisbane, while Djokovic decided not to participate in the January tune-up events. Djokovic also seemed a little bit out of shape because he was breathing rather heavily in his straight set win over David Ferrer, the fifth seed from Spain. Head-to-head, Djokovic has the 6-4 advantage over Murray.
Another interesting storyline from the 2012 Australian Open has been the heavy criticism toward the line judges. Chris Evert, one of the greatest tennis players of all-time has called them “awful” in her commentary work with ESPN. That is something to keep in mind when watching the huge matches this weekend.