The 2014 Australian Open is nearing its end, with the women's singles final set and half of the men's final set as well. On Friday, the other half of that will fall into place when No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal takes on No. 6 seed Roger Federer.
We already know one half of the final, as Stanislas Wawrinka bested Tomas Berdych in the first semifinal matchup on Thursday, winning 6-3, 6-7(1), 7-6(3), 7-6(4). The women's final is set as well, with No. 4 seed Li Na taking down No. 30 seed Eugenie Bouchard, 6-2, 6-4 wheras Dominika Cibulkova bested Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.
The women's final will take place on Saturday, with the men's final on Sunday. But first, we have this little Federer-Nadal matchup to address.
Most expected Federer, Nadal, or No. 4 seed Andy Murray to be heading into the semifinals along with No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, but the Serb was bested by No. 8 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, making the winner of Thursday's matchup between Federer and Nadal the automatic favorite to win the tournament.
Nadal has the edge in the head-to-head matches by a healthy margin. He's typically been able to beat Federer, with a 22-10 record against him since the first time they met in 2004. Federer has been largely overlooked this entire tournament, due to his age and an injury-plagued 2013 season, but he dominated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and took down Murray in straight sets.
In other words: Federer definitely should not be overlooked.
The matchup will be televised on ESPN. The men's semifinal will begin at 3:30 a.m. ET on Friday and the coverage will run through 6 a.m. The online streaming that has been available on the Australian Open website will be unavailable, though if you qualify, WatchESPN should have it.