By Ros Satar, in Melbourne
- Rafael Nadal  v Roger Federer  in the final of the Australian Open 2017
- We break down the numbers ahead of the final
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – It’s throwback day, Part 2 as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal cement their comebacks in the 2017 Australian Open final.
Head to Head
After his semi-final Federer admitted that Nadal was an opponent that had gotten into his head – the crushing defeat at the French Open in 2008 carried over into the quick turnaround for Wimbledon which many would argue was one of the epic finals of all time.
Of course the years have rolled on somewhat for this pair, and both are on a comeback tilt, but the head to head is still quite a formidable obstacle to overcome, on first glance.
|Titles/Finals||1 Title||4 Titles|
This looks a little more favourable for Federer. Nadal had to miss the 2013 edition of the tournament after suffering a stomach virus, not returning until the clay court season in February. Federer has played more in Australia but memorably tearfully relinquished his crown to Nadal in 2009 – the Spaniard’s only win so far here.
Year to Date (Career) W/L Record
|All surfaces W/L||8-1 (814-175)||6-0 (1086-245)|
|Hard-court||8-1 (389-118)||6-0 (670-135)|
Source: ITF Grand Slam Match Notes
Ok so it is the first Slam of the season so it would be interesting to compare the guys if we find ourselves in this situation say at the end of the year – but Nadal is a little more battle-hardened this year having played a proper season opener, but Federer’s record on hard courts says it all.
Match Stats 2017
There is not much to separate them on the tie-breaks this year (albeit less than ten matches into the season) but Nadal’s fighting spirit means you should never count him out of the fight. That being said, Federer has been more effective in going for a late kill and avoiding them altogether.
Albeit one of those deciding sets for Nadal was in Brisbane, he has been solid when it comes to closing it out, as has Federer. They have played identical numbers of sets on their journey here, so we call this even.
Not much to split them again, but Federer has been just a little more solid in that department. Both are in the 70% range for their first serves won but Federer is just a little closer to 80%, while Nadal is stronger than the Swiss behind his second serve.
But when it comes to aces, Federer is far and away ahead of the Spaniard and also in terms of winners. But his unforced errors have racked up this fortnight.
In terms of just these two weeks – it is hard to split them.
Federer and Nadal will play the Australian Open final on Sunday in Rod Laver Arena at 7:30pm (8:30am GMT).
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