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Can Stan the Man stop rampant Rafa Nadal in Australian Open Final?

| 25.01.2014

No matter which way you look at it, Rafael Nadal (1/6 with Coral) has a huge edge over Stanislas Wawrinka (4/1) in the Australian Men’s Open Final in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Spaniard is younger, bigger and taller than his Swiss opponent, but most important of all he is simply better, as every statistic shows.

Nadal, ranked number one in the world, has won 13 Grand Slam titles and needs just one more to move level with the legendary Pete Sampras (still three behind the record-holder Roger Federer). World number eight Wawrinka is still looking for his first major.

In head-to-heads, Nadal has not only won all 12 encounters, most recently 6-2 6-3 6-1 in the French Open last May, he has yet to drop a set – that’s 26 sets to nil.

So Wawrinka, contesting his first Grand Slam final, will make another significant breakthrough even if he takes one set from the brilliant left-hander in the Rod Laver arena.

Coral go 10/11 that Nadal continues his domination and wins in straight sets, but Stan the Man will have gained an enormous amount of confidence from his quarter-final victory over Novak Djokovic and maybe this time he can make the Mallorcan work hard for his 14th Grand Slam title by winning at least one set.

A 3-1 win for Nadal is 5/2, while Coral go 6/1 that it finishes 3-2. But whatever happens,  Wawrinka, so long in the shadow of his famous countryman Federer, can be immensely proud of what he has achieved in Melbourne this past fortnight.

Nadal, troubled by a blister on his hand earlier in the tournament, brought Federer’s career rally to a shuddering halt in the semi-final, marching through what many thought would be a tight affair in straight sets.

Back to his very best in the past year after a spell on the sidelines nursing a knee injury, Nadal is bidding to win his second Australian Open title – he beat Federer in a five-set thriller back in 2009.

Eight of his 13 major victories have come in the French Open and Coral go just 8/13 that he makes it an astonishing nine wins in ten years at Roland Garros next May.

Then it’s on to Wimbledon, where Coral bet: 2/1 Djokovic, 5/2 defending champion Andy Murray, 7/2 Nadal and 8/1 Federer.

Li Na, winner of the women’s Australian Open title after finishing runner-up in two of the past three years, is 11/1 to follow up in the French Open and 18/1 to win Wimbledon. Serena Williams is 5/4 favourite for both events.





Jon Freeman