STARNBERG, December 6, 2017
Roger Federer will almost certainly go down as the greatest male tennis player of all-time but the Swiss star could add to his glittering haul of accolades in 2018. Earlier this year, he turned back the clocks to win the Australian Open crown before notching an incredible eighth Wimbledon title in the summer. We’re now in December and focus now turns to the 2018 edition of the Australian Open – and Federer looks well placed to defend his title.
Federer oozes class and that class should shine through next month. His record on the hard court is simply sublime and fans of the Swiss athlete will be full of confidence after his 2017 campaign. He isn’t getting any younger but Federer played some of his best tennis this year and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the 19-time Grand Slam champion win at least one of the four major titles on offer in 2018. After all, he is still able to dominate tennis matches despite his advanced age.
There is a general consensus that Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka are all incapable of bouncing back but it would be foolish to write anybody off just yet. Djokovic was the world number one at this stage twelve months ago but he failed to respond after a difficult start to the season and was ruled out for most of the campaign. Meanwhile, Murray and Wawrinka have the quality to prevail but consistency is a real issue for both players. Avid tennis fans may be set for a trip down memory lane with Federer and Rafael Nadal dominating the tournament.
Nadal, a legend of the sport in his own right, is the current world number one and he will be quietly confident of pipping his great rival Federer once again. His opposite number got the better of him in the 2017 final but this could be Nadal’s time to shine – victory at Melbourne would cement his spot at the top of the world rankings. Remember, the Spaniard is still just 31 years old and time is very much on his side. One of tennis’ great underdog stories, Nadal may be overlooked in favour of Federer but that is very dangerous indeed.
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) December 4, 2017
Writing the Spaniard off in a one-on-one match would be unwise, especially against Federer given his previous record against the Swiss maestro. Nadal actually has an incredible record against his old rival, winning 23 of their 38 matches. In Grand Slam finals, Nadal holds a 4-2 lead over Federer too; the Spaniard will be confident of pipping the world number two once again. As of December 6, Nadal is a 7/2 chance in bet365’s tennis betting odds to prevail in Melbourne and plenty of punters will fancy the Spaniard for another famous Slam triumph.
There are a few dark horses for Australian Open glory but it will take a Federer collapse for one of those to prevail. At his brilliant best, Federer is still more or less unplayable and he will take some beating in Melbourne. Nadal will do his utmost to ensure that Federer does not win a sixth Australian Open title but you’d be hard-pressed to back against the Swiss star as he looks to further enhance his status as the greatest player of all-time.