Not for the first time, all eyes will be on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when the draw for the Australian Open is made at Melbourne Park on Friday. The pair have contested eight grand slam finals but as the Australian Open 2017 begins on January 16, the two heavyweights may face off in the third round of the Australian Open.
That’s because after six months beset by injury woes for both, Nadal will be seeded ninth based while Federer dropped one spot on Monday to No. 17 after Grigor Dimitrov won Brisbane and rose two places to No. 15.
The last time the No. 9 seed played the No. 17 seed in a major was at last year’s French Open, when Richard Gasquet of France defeated Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.
For the record, Nadal leads their head-to-head record 23-11. Four-time Australian Open winner Federer and Nadal have won 31 grand slams between them and will go down in history as two of the greatest players ever to play tennis.
Depending on how the seeds are placed by the computer at Friday’s draw, their lowly rankings mean Federer and Nadal are vulnerable to playing the top players earlier than normal.