En route to the Australian Open Finals, Rafael Nadal has had many entertaining matches and wonderful moments.
After having a difficult year of injury in 2016, many tennis fans doubted Rafael Nadal’s ability to come back in 2017. Obviously, his run at the Australian Open this year has proved them wrong. Although it is his first major tournament in quite a while, Nadal has already cemented his appearance in the finals. Similar to the Roger Federer post, we will examine each of Nadal’s Australian Open matches and relive the moments that got him to the Finals.
Round of 128: Florian Mayer
Although this was only Nadal’s first match, it was also one of his most important. How he played against Florian Mayer would determine the tone he would set for the rest of the tournament. Luckily, Rafa glided through this round with a score of 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and set a positive tone for his preceding matches.
Round of 64: Marcos Baghdatis
With the confidence from his strong first round win, Nadal was feeling pretty comfortable. He had no struggles in his next match against Marcos Baghdatis, whom he beat in straight sets. The final score was 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.
Round of 32: Alexander Zverev
This was one of Nadal’s most entertaining matches. He had an astonishing comeback against Alexander Zverev and saved himself from upset. However, this narrow win led many to question if Nadal’s Australian Open run was nearing its end. The 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 score against the young German prodigy was not convincing enough for Rafa fans.
Round of 16: Gael Monfils
After his nailbiter against Zverev, Nadal returned for his next match ready to play. Contrary to many predictions, he beat the 6th seeded Gael Monfils with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. This pleasant win helped re-instill the confidence that Rafa had earlier in the tournament.
QuarterFinals: Milos Raonic
Against the big-serving Canadian, Rafael was not intimidated. He fought through Milos Raonic‘s serving games and even managed to break him a few times. His persistence led him to a straight set win of 6-4, 7-6, 6-4.
SemiFinals: Grigor Dimitrov
Words cannot describe the level of tennis that fans experienced at this match. Both Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal battled for 4 hours and 56 minutes until victory was finally claimed by the Spaniard. Grigor had a couple of opportunities to win the match, but Nadal’s constant abuse of Dimitrov’s backhand was too much. Nadal came back in the 5th set and ultimately won the match 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
The Finals: Roger Federer
Although yet to happen, this final is one of the most anticipated tennis matches in recent years. The last “Fedal” Grand Slam Final matchup was at the 2011 French Open, so many tennis fans are eager to see what a difference in 5 years makes. With Roger Federer nearing 36 years old, the end of his career might be quickly approaching. That being said, no matter who ends up claiming the title, this match will definitely be historic. After all, who knows if the two rivals will ever go head-to-head in a finals match again.