The Australian Open finals take place over the weekend and Rafael Nadal can make history by downing Novak Djokovic in the men’s final on Sunday, after Petra Kvitova has completed her remarkable comeback with a win over Naomi Osaka on Saturday.
Just over two years ago Kvitova’s career was in doubt due to a serious hand injury but she now has a chance to land a third Grand Slam crown – and her first away from Wimbledon.
The 28-year-old Czech star can also top the rankings for the first time but standing in her way is a formidable opponent in Osaka, who is bidding for back-to-back majors after landing the US Open crown.
Incredibly, Saturday’s final at Melbourne Park will be the first ever meeting between the two so it is a step into the unknown for both, but Kvitova has been in sensational form Down Under and at 28 is by far the more experienced.
Kvitova has yet to drop a set at the Australian Open and has rarely been troubled, having only needed a tie-break once, and she can continue that perfect run by seeing off Osaka 2-0 on Saturday.
The men’s final between Djokovic, a six-time winner of the Australian Open, and Nadal is tough to call and that is reflected in the odds.
The Serb is the slight favourite at 10/13 but Nadal has been in inspired form and can claim what would be his second title in Melbourne, which would make him the first man in the Open Era to win all four majors at least twice.
Like Kvitova, Nadal has yet to drop a set in Melbourne, while Djokovic has been taken to four sets twice.
The world number one has a few injury niggles and against a player as athletic and powerful as Nadal that could prove the difference.
Djokovic edges their head-to-head with 27 wins to Nadal’s 25 and he has been particularly dominant on hard-courts, winning the last six meetings since 2013.
Nadal has the better record in major finals though as he has won four of the seven Grand Slam finals they have contested and he can claim a huge victory over Djokovic on Sunday.
Nadal may be yet to drop a set but this could well go the distance and a 3-2 win for the Spaniard pays out at 19/4.
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