The finals are upon us this weekend, and there are crystal clear favorites for the men and the women. Who will be lifting up the trophies for the first slam of the year, you ask? As the saying goes, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber: What else can be written that hasn’t already about Serena? She’s chasing her 22nd grand slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf; she’s never lost an Australian Open final; and she hasn’t lost a set the entire tournament putting her on track to continue her streak. The only questionable thing about her these past two weeks is her bright yellow kit. Meanwhile, Kerber’s never even gotten to a slam final before, so it’s hard to picture her pulling off the upset. But, as we saw at the 2015 US Open when Roberta Vinci denied Serena the calendar slam, anything is possible. Less is at stake here for Serena, though, so I don’t expect her nerves to get the best of her this time.
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray: The numbers are stacked against Murray here. The head-to-head is 21-9 in favor of Djokovic. Djokovic has beaten Murray the three previous times they’ve met in the Australian Open final: 2011, 2013, and 2015. Djokovic beat Federer handily in the semi-finals while Murray had to go five sets to beat Raonic – and Raonic suffered a leg injury during that match. Unlike the women’s match, I don’t see anything from stopping Djokovic from getting his 11th slam title on Sunday; he’s just on a completely different level than everyone else.
Tune-in at 3am ET on Saturday for the women’s final and 3am ET on Sunday for the men’s final, both on ESPN. There will be replays broadcast each day at 9am ET on ESPN2.