In about ten hours, Djokovic and Nadal will take the court down under and decide who takes the first major of the year. SI has a nice breakdown here. Their poll is deadlocked, not that that really means anything, but I still found it interesting. I won’t get to see that match live, because I’d have to be awake (likely) and willing to be awake for another three or four hours (not likely).
I wanna pick Rafa to win the match, and I’ll be pulling for him as I sleep, but I just don’t see it. I haven’t gotten to see much of Rafa’s game at the Aussie Open because most of his matches have been on at 3:30 AM, but I read that his triumph over Federer came from terrific shot-making. He’ll need that in spades to hang with Nole.
I’m still not too much of a Djokovic fan but I don’t think he’ll lose this one. The match against Murray was absolutely epic but he’s had a day to recover from that. He had Rafa’s number in every final they played last year and Djokovic has excelled in the biggest points (which is what tennis is really about) for the past fourteen months. Federer is a tougher matchup for Djokovic, although Rafa obviously has the game to beat him. As is always the case in these matches, it depends which form the players show up in. In light of Djokovic’s previous success and consequent mental strength, though, Rafa’s gonna have to be on fire to win.
I’ve been wrong a bunch this tournament (had Roger beating Rafa, had Tsonga challenging Murray) and I’d be happy to be wrong again. But that’s up to Rafa. Djokovic in four.