Federer and Nadal could have an early tournament match
As the first Grand Slam of the year looms closer, anticipation grows regarding the men’s singles bracket. The Roger Federer / Rafael Nadal rivalry is perhaps the greatest in tennis history. They have faced each other eleven times before in Slams, eight of which were finals. But this Australian Open may contain a different result.
Due to both players injuries and time away from the courts, the former world number ones will be seeded #17 (Federer) and #9 (Nadal). Because of their low seeds, they have the chance of meeting in only the 3rd round at Melbourne.
However, there is a question as to if both players will even reach the third round. At the 2016 Australian Open, Rafael Nadal stunned the tennis world with a first round loss to Fernando Verdasco (earning Nadal a Wooden Spoon Award). Nadal has had poor Grand Slam results since.
Federer, on the other hand, has not lost before the 3rd round at the Australian Open since 1999. Only once in the past ten years has Federer exited a grand slam before round 3. Though 2016 was the first time in 18 years that Federer had to miss a slam due to injuries.
Of course, it is only a 1 in 8 chance the two tennis legends will be drawn to meet in the 3rd round until then both Federer and Nadal continue gearing up for the first grand slam of the year down under.
Rafael Nadal has won the tournament once in the past, with Roger Federer claiming the trophy 4 times. Neither man has won a grand slam since Nadal’s 2014 French Open.
The Australian Open main draw will be released Friday, January 13th, and play will begin Monday, January 16th.