2009 Australian Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Finals Contest!

You know the stats, I’ve broken down both of their games, now you pick the winner! Post in the comments section who you think will win the match with the predicted score for each set as well as the total length of the match (for a tiebreaker) and the person who comes closest will win a great Bollettieri Prize Pack!

Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)

Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 188 lbs.
D.O.B: 06/03/1986
Turned Pro: 2001
Current Ranking: 1
Plays: Left-handed (two-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Hamburg, Roland Garros, Queen’s Club, Wimbledon, Canada, and the Olympics
2008 Australian Open: Semifinals

Roger Federer (SUI)
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 177 lbs.
D.O.B: 08/08/1981
Turned Pro: 1998
Current Ranking: 2
Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
2008 Titles: Estoril, Halle, US Open, and Basel
2008 Australian Open: Semifinals

From the beginning of the tournament, this is the match we have been waiting for, and now for the first time we get Federer vs. Nadal in the finals of a Grand Slam on a hard court! Now, I know Nadal beat Federer in the finals of Wimbledon last year, but never before have they met at the Aussie Open or the US Open. Everyone is going to be excited about this match-up, from the fans to the sponsors to the media. There may be no better rivalry in sports than Nadal vs. Federer.

There is also so much on the line in this match. Can Federer win his fourth Aussie Open title and tie Pete Sampras with 14 Grand Slam wins? Can Nadal win his sixth Grand Slam title (first on a hard court) and continue his recent dominance over Federer? Can Federer win this match and use it to propel him back to #1? Only time will tell!

The Match-Up:

Nadal is 12-6 against Federer, and beat him all four times they played in 2008. They have played five times on a hard court, and Federer is 3-2 in those matches. Let’s take a look at each part of their game and so who has the edge.

Forehand:

  • Their forehands are hard to compare because they are so different. Federer uses a strong eastern grip and hits his forehand very flat so it penetrates the court extremely well. Yes, he can add topspin, but he doesn’t use it the same way
  • Nadal’s grip is close to a complete western, which changes the swing pattern totally. He has to work extremely hard to get the same racket head speed that other players can generate. He uses the topspin to wear his opponents down and now he is flattening out the forehand to hit winners. It is a lethal combination!

Backhand:

  • Like the forehand, these guys have opposite strokes on the backhand. Federer has one of the best one-handed backhands in the history of tennis. He can hit over the ball, slice it, dip it, spin it, hit the angles, hit the drop shots, hit any shot! He has so much versatility on the backhand that there is really no way to attack him.
  • Nadal has an excellent two-handed backhand that he hits quite aggressively. He can hit it flat, or he can use spin. He doesn’t have the same versatility as Federer, but he is capable of hitting a very solid slice.

Volley:

  • Nadal can definitely come to the net and hit the basic volley, but I would say that Federer is definitely more comfy up there. That is because he has a better transition game than Nadal. He is constantly coming forward and trying to put his opponents away, where as Nadal likes to stay back behind the baseline and grind it out. Be careful though, because Nadal can hit a passing shot as good as anyone on the tour. He makes it look easy!!

Serve:

  • If you compare Federer’s serve to a guy like Ivo Karlovic or even Andy Roddick, he doesn’t get the same zip those guys do. What he does do, it place the serve better than anyone. You will also see him do a little serve and volleying just to keep his opponents off-guard.
  • Nadal’s serve has really improved over the last couple of years. He can slide it out wide on the ad court, which could be a big plus in this match. Nadal needs to get his serve going in this match to win as many free points as possible.

Movement:

  • We know that both of these guys are excellent movers. Federer glides around the court with ease, while Nadal is constantly pounding the pavement and is like an acrobat with the way he can contort his body. Laterally, Nadal moves as well as Federer, but coming forward I think Federer moves better.
  • Something to watch in this match is Nadal’s energy level. He just played the longest match in Aussie Open history, and we will have to see if that has any effect on his body. One of the first places you could see it is in his movement.

Nick’s Pick – You know the stats, I’ve broken down both of their games, now you pick the winner! Post who you think will win the match with the predicted score for each set as well as the total length of the match (for a tiebreaker) and the person who comes closest will win a great Bollettieri Prize Pack!

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~ by Nick's Picks on January 30, 2009.

56 Responses to “2009 Australian Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Finals Contest!”

  1. [...] YOU PICK THE MATCH! [...]

  2. Federer 6-4 6-3 6-3 1h50 match
    though I hope rafa will have the energy to crush R-Fed’s game
    Vamos Rafa!

  3. I’d go for Nadal 7-6 4-6 6-4 7-5 in 2h47
    though i’m a big fan of Djokovic go Serbia!

  4. Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal, 4-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 6-2
    Match-duration: 3h56m

  5. I belive Roger Federer will win.
    6-4,6-7,7-6,6-4 3 hours.

  6. Rafael Nadal- Roger Federer 6-4 6-7 6-4 7-5 in 3h 20 minutes. The psychological edge of Rafa over Roger will make the difference. Rafa will be okay after the gruelling match with Verdasco, as he is the fittest guy on the tour. Vamos RAFA!

  7. Roger in 5
    7-5 4-6 7-6 6-7 6-2 4h8m

  8. Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal 7-6,4-6,7-5,3-6,6-4 in 4 hours and 46 minutes

  9. Federer to win 6-4 7-5 6-4 in 2 hours 41 minutes

  10. Roger Federer 7-5 6-3 7-6 2 hours

  11. Nadal 6:4 3:6 7:6 6:4 3h 10min

  12. Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal in 5 sets, 4 hrs. 29 min.
    6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5

  13. I predict Federer 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-2 2 hours 50 minutes

  14. FEDERER 6-4…6-4…7-6…2 hours and 45 minutes

  15. Nadal wins 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in 3 hrs and 45 minutes

  16. Nadal: 6-7 (9), 7-5, 6-4, 7-5 in 3 hours 10 minutes

  17. Federer wins 7-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in 3:50

  18. Federer will win in 3 sets with 6-0, 6-3 ,6-4 score.

  19. Roger in 4 sets…6-4 7-6 6-4 6-3…2 hrs 40min

  20. I’m pulling for Nadal, but I’ll have to call it for Fed: 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in 3 hrs and 17 minutes.

  21. Federer

    6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 (3 hours, 10 minutes).

  22. Federer – Nadal 6-4 3-6 7-6 7-6 in 3 hours 27 min

  23. Nick, you said: “He has so much versatility on the backhand that there is really no way to attack him”, but it seems that there is a Nadalesque spin that weakens this superb backhand.

    No many precedents but my head picks Roger 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 in 2h 30m.

  24. Nadal in 4 sets: 7-6 4-6 6-4 6-4 in 3h50m

  25. Federer to win 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-4, 4h 15m

  26. Federer 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4…4 hrs, 17 min.

  27. Federer wins in 4.. 6:3 6:7 7:5 6:4.. 3hrs 7min

  28. Federer wins 7-5 7-6 3-6 6-4 in 3 hrs and 40 minutes

  29. Federer in 4 sets, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 in 3 hours and 45 minutes!

  30. Roger to win;
    6-3,7-6,6-4 : 1hr,10 mins

  31. Federer over Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in 2h47mins

  32. Federer over Nadal because of what Verdasco did to him and Federer wins 7-5 6-3 4-6 6-7 6-2 in 3 hours and 46 minutes

  33. Nadal over Federer 7-5,7-5,4-6,7-5 in 3 hours 10 minutes

  34. Please ignore my prior post, it was incomplete
    Federer over Nadal
    7-5,4-6,5-7,6-4,7-5 3 Hours 25 min

  35. Federer 3 x 0 Nadal (7×6, 6×4, 7×6))

  36. Nadal over Federer in 5 sets
    7-5,7-5-4-6,5-7,7-5 in 3 hours 35 minutes

  37. Federer over Nadal in 3 sets 6-4,6-4,6-4 2 hours total

  38. I think Federer will win 6-3 3-6 7-6 4-6 6-2 in 3h and 42 mins.

  39. 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 for Roger in 3h.26 min

  40. I have to go with Nadal! 6-4 3-6 7-6 7-5 in about 2 and a half hours.

  41. Federer in 4 sets
    Federer vs Nadal 6:4,5:7,7:5,7:5 3h 7min

  42. As much as I want Rafa to win, I think the marathon the other day will have an impact on the outcome.
    Federer over Nadal in 5
    5-7,6-4,5-7,7-5,7-5 3 hours 5 minutes

  43. I expect a Federer victory;
    6-4, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in 3 hours and 26 minutes

  44. I really want Rafa to win but I know its going to be tight. In my heart of hearts I should vote for Roger but I simply cannot
    Nadal in 5
    7-5.4-6.6-4,5-7,7-5 Time:3hrs 55 minutes

  45. I’m going to choose Nadal 6-4, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 in 3 hrs., 24 mins.

  46. Correction, left off the time element, please use this one
    Federer in 4
    7-6,6-7,6-4,7-5 Total time 2 hrs 30 minutes

  47. Federer in 3
    6-4,7-5,6-3 Total time: 2 hrs 22 minutes

  48. Federer to win: 6-4,6-7,7-5,6-3
    Total time: 3hrs, 18min.

  49. Federer in 4 sets 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-4 3 hours and 30 minutes.

  50. Federer def. Nadal, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in 2 hours and 33 minutes

  51. #2 Federer def. #1 Nadal 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in 2 hours 53 minutes

  52. Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-6 7-6 1h 56m

  53. Roger 7-5,6-4,7-5

  54. Federer 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 in 2:52

  55. That was a tough score to predict! No one was able to get it exactly right, but the person that was closest was Zoey! Look for an email very soon on how you can redeem your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated and check out the blog all year for tennis news and information!

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