Australian Open 2014 – Men’s Final

Nadal v Wawrinka

Well we have reached the end of the season’s first grand slam and we don’t have the final that anyone predicted.

They have played each other 12 times. Wawrinka hasn’t managed to win a set in any of those matches. Four of those matches were after Stan started working with his new coach who has been largely responsible for the improvement in his form and in particular the improvement in his mental strength.

Their most recent meeting was at the World Tour Finals in November last year. Nadal won in two tie breaks.

The market is showing Wawrinka very little respect as Nadal starts at 1.18 . Nadal started at 1.60 against Federer  yet I give Wawrinka a better chance against Nadal. Wawrinka obviously lacks the experience of the big matches that Nadal and Federer have. He also lacked experience of the World Tour Finals and yet pushed Nadal very close. A grand slam final is a whole new ball game though and add to that the fact that it is the best of 5 and Wawrinka’s chances seem to look bleaker by the second.

In London Wawrinka really should have won both tie breaks. Whether or not he can challenge Nadal on Sunday  comes down to how he deals with the situation of being in his first slam final. I would expect him to get himself into a position to win at least one of the sets but as he looks over the net and sees Nadal picking his arse and sniffing his fingers will he truly believe? We won’t know the answer to that one with any certainty until the match is under way.

Personally I will be a little surprised if Nadal wins in straight sets. Nadal 3-0 is at 2.20. However I think it is a huge ask for Wawrinka to beat the world number 1 in his first slam final considering the head to head record.

Nadal to win in 4 sets.

 

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