Roger Federer will face long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal in the finals of the 2017 Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday (29 January).
Where to watch live
The match is set to start at 8.30am GMT. Live coverage is available on British Eurosport and Eurosport HD. Radio commentary will be available on BBC radio 5 Live and on the official Australian open website.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will extend their Open Era record of meeting each other in the most Grand Slam finals when they make it their ninth encounter on Sunday. The two have turned back the clock and played some of their best tennis to make it to the summit clash at the 2017 Australian Open. They are set to renew one of the greatest tennis rivalries of the modern era – perhaps for one last time.
The two former world number one's have both surprised themselves by making the final owing to their lack of match practice in the run up to the tournament. Both are coming back from injury absences and were not expected to make it this far. As much as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray's absence in the latter stages of the tournament aided their run to the finals, the duo have beaten higher ranked players on their way to being the two best players at Melbourne Park.
Federer has never beaten Nadal at the Australian Open in their three previous meetings with their 2009 final which the Spaniard won in five sets considered to be one of the if not the greatest match witnessed on Rod Laver Arena thus far. However, the speedy nature of the courts this year could favour the Swiss ace, despite his poor record in their overall clashes on hard courts.
Their last meeting in a Grand Slam final was at the French Open in 2011 when the Spaniard won in four sets. Despite them not having come up against each other at the highest stage they were never out of contention. Nadal was ranked number one in the world as recent as 2014 and Federer has made three Grand Slam finals and four semi-finals in the last three years.
Both the players admitted that they never expected to find themselves facing each other on the final day of the 2017 Australian Open. Federer described it as 'unreal' when it was out to him that he could face Nadal in the final, and the latter was simply thankful that they had another chance to compete at this level and perhaps script another epic that lasts long in the memory of all involved in the sport.
Prediction: Roger Federer – in five sets
- Federer win: 11/10
- Nadal win: 3/4
The pair have met 34 times in the past with Nadal holding a 23-11 advantage over Federer. They have met on eight occasions in a Grand Slam final where again the Spaniard holds a 6-2 lead over the Swiss ace. Their most recent meeting came at the 2015 Swiss Indoors in Basel when Federer won in three sets.