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The world’s top two players are set for Australian Open 2014 battle, that is, if they overcome their six opponents on the way to the grand finale in two weeks’ time.
World number one Rafael Nadal and number two Novak Djokovic are the only two male players to have faced each other in all four Grand Slam finals and it seems like their epic six-hour Australian Open final back in 2012 might be back for a sequel this year. Nadal missed the event last year due to injury.
Nadal staged a very impressive comeback in 2012 on his way back to the ranking’s summit after winning a total of ten titles – including 2 Grand Slam titles and five ATP Masters 1000 events. These were enough to overtake Novak Djokovic who has held the top ranking for the past two years.
“If I am playing the way that I played in the first set, I think I will be very competitive [in Australia],” Nadal said after winning the Qatar Open 2014 title last weekend.
Nadal does have a tough challenge ahead considering that Djokovic is back in Melbourne as a three-time time defending champion. Djokovic has won the Australian Open four times and is raring to hoist the trophy for the fifth time in his career.
“I’m full of confidence on the court,” Djokovic said.
Should Nadal win the Australian Open title this month, the Spaniard would tie Pete Sampras with the most number of Grand Slam titles at 14 and will just be three trophies shy from record-holder Roger Federer (who has 17). However, the Swiss star has other ideas and craves for an 18th Grand Slam title as well.
“The thrill of holding up a trophy and the thrill of being before match point is an amazing one,” Federer said.