(Rafa increases his lead in his head-to-head record with Fed to 18-9.
Now if only he can reverse his head-to-head trajectory with Novak...)
Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, will be playing in his second Australian Open Final after beating Greatest Rival of All Time Roger Federer 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4. It was a hard fought and convincing victory. Federer had been playing at an amazing high level and had not lost a match since his semi-final in the US Open back in September. Rafa found a way to get the job done. He has been physically fit and mentally strong. I'm so happy for him that he's gotten back to this place so early in the season.
Of course, the guy he'll face on the other side of the net is stinky ol' Djokovic who just refuses to lose ever. Ugh, how I'd ever so hoped it would be Murray instead! Murray had a 2 sets to 1 lead but just couldn't get it done. Rafa has now lost 6 straight finals to Novak. It would be so great to put last season behind us, and start 2012 by breaking the streak. Is it possible? Yes. Rafa is playing well enough. Djokovic does not seem invulnerable this tournament. But will it happen? I don't know. I'm nervous. I also gave the edge to Federer in the semis though, so goes to show what I know.
I am pretty sure the Final starts at like 3am tonight EST, and I won't be up to watch it. I just can't throw off my sleep schedule that much, even for Rafa. I'll go to bed wearing one of my Nadal t-shirts and say my prayers (not that I think God is seriously paying attention to a tennis match!) and hopefully I'll wake up and see that Rafa secured an easy three set victory! That's probably the least likely of all outcomes, but this Final does have the feel to it like anything could happen. Whatever the score, I'm hoping that my final Aussie Open blogpost will feature a picture of Rafa biting into the Championship Trophy. We're almost there! VAMOS!!!!