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History on Rafael Nadal's side in Open final

AAP logoAAP 25/01/2014 Sam Lienert
n © AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama n

Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka will have to defy his status as world No.1 Rafael Nadal's least successful opponent to win tonight's Australian Open final.

Nadal, seeking his 14th grand slam title, hasn't lost a set to Wawrinka in their previous 12 meetings.

The Swiss world No.8, who upset four-time champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, is far from the only player who's never managed to beat Nadal.

But he is the player to have lost the most matches to the Spaniard without a win.

That record, combined with Wawrinka's status as a first-time grand slam finalist, and the impressive style in which Nadal dismissed Roger Federer in the semi-finals, makes the top seed the hot favourite.

If he wins, he will join Australians Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as the only men to have won each grand slam event at least twice.

Nadal has won the French Open eight times, Wimbledon and the US Open twice each and previously won the Australian Open in 2009.

He would also join Pete Sampras on 14 major titles, to leave him trailing only 17-time grand slam champion Federer.

Earlier today, India's Sania Mirza and Romanian Horia Tecau will face Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic and Canada's Daniel Nestor in the mixed doubles final.

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