Five epic Fedal battles
The Women’s Singles at the Australian Open came to an enthralling end as Serena Williams won her 7th Australian Open and 23rd Grand Slam title by defeating sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the final. Serena’s victory restored her No. 1 ranking and now she’s only one Grand Slam behind equaling Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.
With the women’s tournament done and dusted, it’s only a matter of hours before the men’s final gets underway, which is between two of the greatest players of all-time – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Both players came back to the ATP World Tour this year after injuries cut short their season last year.
Both have been in tremendous form and will be coming into the match on the back of five-set victories in the semi-finals. This will be the first Grand Slam final to feature Federer and Nadal in nearly six years and the first Grand Slam match between the two since the 2014 Australian Open semi-finals.
Over the years, Federer and Nadal have had a fierce rivalry and have met a total of 34 times previously, with Nadal leading 23-11.
The Swiss, who won the last time these two played at the 2015 Swiss Indoors in Basel has been in brilliant form in the tournament. However, Nadal has shown the world that he still has a lot of tennis left in him.
With only moments left before Federer and Nadal lock horns for a 35th time, let’s take a look at five of the best Federer-Nadal battles ever.
#5 2006 Monte Carlo Masters final
Both Federer and Nadal were in terrific form in 2006 and were coming into the Monte Carlo Masters as two of the favourites to win the title, Nadal being the defending champion. Federer had a bit of a shaky start against qualifier Novak Djokovic but had three easy wins to enter the semi-finals whereas the Spaniard was yet to drop a set in the tournament.
In the semis, Federer and Nadal defeated Fernando Gonzalez and Gaston respectively to set up a meeting in the final which would be their fifth overall. Nadal began the match brilliantly and took the first set 6-2 but Federer fought back and took the second set in a tiebreak to level the match. Nadal then won the third set 6-3.
The fourth set was a very exciting one with neither player willing to back down as the set again went into a tiebreak. However, it was the southpaw’s resilience that eventually prevailed as he won the tiebreak to win the match and defend his title.