They are, of course, on the other side of the planet, where everything is upside down. How else to explain Roger Federer beating Andy Murray (fervently hoped for by yours truly, but not expected), Stanislas Wawrinka beating Novak Djokovic (ditto), and Agnieszka Radwanska beating Victoria Azarenka (a real shocker, and a great win for the crafty, defense-minded Radwanska)?
Now we get another Roger-Rafa match, which I don’t want to shorten my life by watching. Nadal beat the 22 year-old Grigor Dimitrov, nicknamed “Baby Fed” for the similarity of his style to Federer’s, in the quarter finals, so that could be considered an advantage to Nadal. A blister on Nadal’s left hand, if not healed by Friday, would be a disadvantage. But for my psychic protection (because I really want Federer to win), I’ll put my money on Nadal. Nadal has the heart of a champion and Federer’s propensity for squandering break points doesn’t bode well.
Nadal, I think, is a seriously good guy. The only reason that I don’t root for him more is that I can’t identify with his physique or tennis game. He is impossibly taut and muscular – I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be in his body – and the repeated violence of his strokes exhausts me to watch.
But two things give me hope for a Federer win. The first is the very upside-down nature of the 2014 Austrailian Open so far. The second, and more influential, is that my predictions almost never come true. A seer, I am not – which is sometimes a blessing.