CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:  Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs.  Roger Federer (SUI)
Their rivalry is legendary and their matches have been ferociously competitive from start to finish. So we expected this final to be another punishing battle; however, both players are just coming back from injury layoffs and their paths to the final have not been easy. Federer’s path to the final: J. Melzer (4); N. Rubin (3); T. Berdych (3); K. Nishikori (5); M. Zverev (3); S. Wawrinka (5). Nadal’s path to the final: F. Mayer (3); M. Baghdatis (3); A. Zverev (5); G. Monfils (4); M. Raonic (3); G. Dimitrov (5). They each have had two long five set matches and played three seeded players en route to the final. However, Federer’s total time on court was only 13 hours and 37 minutes compared to Nadal’s of 18 hours and 56 minutes. Federer’s extra day off going into the final gave him an advantage.
Nadal has openly admitted that he was tired; would fatigue be the factor that prevented Nadal from giving his usual effort and potentially prevent him from beating Federer to claim his 15th Major title? Nerves were a factor on both sides of the court and the advantage went to the player who controlled them better. Today it was Federer; he wanted this badly and was not going to let Nadal stop him. Nadal choked in the fifth set and this loss will probably be the hardest one for him to swallow even though it was to Federer. He had the early break in the fifth set but could not hang on and Federer dug deep into his dwindling reserves and came up big at the crucial points to win his 18th Major title 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
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