Roger Federer set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were named on Thursday as having won their first Grand Slam matches.
Federer has now played 19 matches at the Australian Open, while Djokovic and Nadal have each played one match since 2014. Murray will be a few wins away from joining Nadal in that category when he plays Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the final on Friday.
While the four players who have now reached three-in-a-row are the current top four in the world, they are separated as the tournament’s only quartet.
Federer has not played at the Australian Open in three years. He last did so in 2014 to reach his second final, losing to Nadal in six sets.
The Swiss was due to play No. 17-ranked American James Blake in the third round but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, he is taking a break from tennis and has missed the tournament.
Nadal and Djokovic are both in Sydney for the first time since playing in the 2015 French Open, Djokovic losing in the second round to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Murray last played in Australia eight years ago, losing in the second round to Tomas Berdych.
After the top four men have now played their third final at the Australian Open on the same court (the No. 1-ranked is on Court No. 2), the No. 2-seed will play his first Australian Open final.
Tournament chief Craig Tiley will look to avenge the 2009 final loss of No. 16 Bernard Tomic, who is playing his first Australian Open and will be looking to make it two.
No. 2 seed Andy Roddick of the United States and No. 3 seed David Goffin of Switzerland will be looking to win their debut at the All England Tennis Championship for the right to meet world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon semi.
No. 3 seeds Marcel Granollers of Spain and Marin Cilic of Croatia will also be hoping to join the men’s top four in winning Grand Slam matches at the Australian Open.