“There, Fernando destroyed Rafa and I got some ideas from that match and others. Considered one of the things we talked about was that I needed to be ready for five sets on a mental level.” Federer famously went down a break to his long-time rival in the ultimate set of the championship match but managed to show things around and beat the Spaniard for the twelfth time.
Ljubicic recalled: “Even within the fifth set, after I was breaking down I felt – I’m not going to say confident and I felt like I could win, but I felt prefer it wasn’t throughout.” Before 2017, Federer had a losing 23-11 record against Nadal but ended up winning all but one in every of their seven meetings after 2017, closing the gap to finish his profession with a 24-16 record against his biggest rival, with Ljubicic pinning the Australian Open final right down to his regained confidence against the world No 2.
“I feel after that Australian Open, he began to feel more confident,” he said. “He played thoroughly in Indian Wells and Miami against Rafa, taking the ball early, hitting flat and attacking Rafa’s forehand a bit of greater than he had prior to now. Many things that perhaps Rafa didn’t expect.”