Rafael Nadal survived a huge scare in his semi-final against Grigor Dimitrov to set up an Australian Open final clash with old rival Roger Federer.
The Spaniard also landed me a 3-2 correct set betting score result at 5/1 in the process, but to be honest I would have taken a loss just to see these two resume one of sport’s greatest rivalries in a Grand Slam final for perhaps the last time.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal leads 23-11 overall, and 6-2 in their previous major final meetings, but in this showdown I’m not convinced previous results count for much.
That said, it is worth noting that 11 of their matches have been on Nadal’s favoured clay surface and he has a 9-2 record over the Swiss in those clashes, while on hard courts the stats are 9-7 in favour of the ‘King of Clay’, but a lot has happened over the last few years.
Injuries have undoubtedly taken their toll on Nadal and he still doesn’t look the same player he was two or three years ago – despite his recent renaissance – and, having watched Federer in Melbourne, he looks back to his best.
Admittedly, the Swiss star took a lengthy injury time-out in his semi-final epic with Stan Wawrinka, but that seemed more like gamesmanship than a necessary stoppage to me, as cynical as that may sound.
The 17-time major champion has picked up some notable scalps en route to the final in the shape of Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori and Wawrinka while producing some outstanding performances during that run.
Nadal has also impressed Down Under with victories over Gael Monfils, Milos Raonic and Dimitrov, but I just think Federer has looked better over the course of the tournament.
There isn’t much to separate the two and my initial gut feeling is a Federer win, and as the value is with the four-time champion, the 21/20 on a victory for the Swiss maestro is my top bet for this clash.
Nadal is an awesome competitor and he’ll be keen to grab what would be a second Australian crown, ensuring he has won all four Grand Slams at least twice, so the 19/4 on a 3-2 Federer win also appeals.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of football matches to look at today and the 20/31 on an FA Cup win for Burnley over Bristol City on Saturday appears an absolute banker.
I’ll also be backing Celta Vigo to win at Leganes at a very tempting 13/5 in La Liga this evening.
For all new customers, ComeOn! are currently offering a £10 free bet – make sure you sign up!