Things haven’t gone quite as planned so far in the 2017 Australian Open, but it appears all’s well that ends well for the finals of the year’s first Grand Slam.
Both the top seeds in the men’s and women’s singles brackets were knocked out in the fourth round of the tournament, with Angelique Kerber falling to relative newcomer, unseeded American, Coco Vandeweghe, and Andy Murray losing in four sets to Mischa Zverev of Germany, also unseeded.
Despite these fourth-round upsets, the four finalists will be familiar to even casual tennis fans: Venus and Serena Williams will be competing for the women’s singles title on Saturday and Roger Federer will face Rafael Nadal in the men’s final on Sunday (EST, that is).
The early rounds of the Open were surprising, but the sisters’ play in semifinals was nothing short of the excellence we’ve come to expect: Venus beat youngster Vandeweghe in three sets (6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3) and Serena cruised past Croatia’s Mirjana Lučić-Baroni (6-2,61; the unseeded Croatian wasn’t expected to make it past the early rounds— her match against Williams marked her first Grand Slam semifinals since 1999).
Serena’s match against Venus will be entertaining for a few reasons, not the least of which is Serena’s chance to earn her long-alluded 23rd career Grand Slam singles title—finally beating tennis legend Steffi Graf’s record.
In addition, the Williams sisters entering the final round at age 35 and 36 years old is a big deal considering the semifinals marked the the first time in the Open era that two players 35 or older have reached the final four of a Grand Slam competition.
Serena holds a 16-11 record against Venus and describes her elder sister as her “toughest opponent” (talk about sibling rivalry). Yet both sisters are likely overjoyed at the final round matchup: “I just feel like, no matter what happens, we’ve won… A Williams is going to win the tournament.”
As for the men’s singles final, as always, Federer will be the major player to watch, but this time it will be because of his recent injury, not just his famous serve.
The four-time Australian Open winner will be returning for his first tour event after a two-month break due to a chronic wrist injury. Due to his break, the Swiss star was seeded 17th in the tournament—his lowest ever Australian Open ranking.
That didn’t stop him from making it to the final round of the men’s singles tournament, where he will face Rafa, his long time rival. Nadal leads their 12-year rivalry (23-11), but Federer may have a slight advantage this time because of Nadal’s nearly five-hour, intense match against Grigor Dimitrov on Friday (6-3, 5-7, 7-6, (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4).
Federer’s win against 2016 U.S. Open winner, Stan Wawrinka (7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3), was also physically and emotionally draining at slightly over three hours, but he’ll have some extra rest time before he faces Nadal.
And the 35-year-old will likely need the extra rest and prep; Sunday’s match will be his first Grand Slam final since the 2015 U.S. Open. But’s he’s prepared for the blood, sweat, and tears it may take him to win his match against Nadal: “I’ll leave it all out here in Australia and if I can’t walk for five months that’s OK,” Federer said after his win against Wawrinka.
If Federer does win, the Australian Open victory would mark his 18th career Grand Slam title— although, at 17 titles he already holds the record for most Major singles titles. Nadal is up for his 15th title.
There’s plenty of history to be made by the all-stars of modern tennis, with the women’s singles final on Saturday, January 28th and the men’s singles final on Sunday, January 29th. Here’s how to catch all the action live-streaming.
The 2017 Australian Open Finals Schedule
Saturday, January 28
Women’s Singles Final: V. Williams (13) v. S. Williams (2) at 3:30 a.m. EST
Sunday, January 29
Women’s Singles Final: R. Federer (17) v. R. Nadal (9) at 3:30 a.m. EST
How to Watch the 2017 Australian Open Live Streaming
Watch matches and commentary live streaming on Australian Open (AO) TV Live. Those with a cable login can also watch live overnight and daily recap feeds from ESPN2 through the semifinals.
The finals of the singles tournaments as well as the men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles tournaments will be live streaming on WatchESPN.
Those without a cable login can find additional ways to stream thanks to Cut Cable Today’s live streaming guide to the 2017 Australian Open.