Why Rafael Nadal's Forehand Will Lead Him to Victory over Roger Federer

David CattaiContributor IIIJanuary 23, 2014

Rafael Nadal looks to move on by defeating Roger Federer at the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal looks to move on by defeating Roger Federer at the Australian Open.GEPA/USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer meet again at 7:30 pm (3:30 am ET) in Melbourne, Australia on the 12th day of the Australian Open.

The historic rivalry has recently been in favor of Nadal, but Federer has shown a glimpse of life after his previous matchup against Andy Murray. Either way, Nadal versus Federer is always must-see television. Over their historic careers, they have combined to win over 1500 matches and 138 titles.

Nadal has won four of the last five matches against Federer, the last one coming at the ATP World Tour Finals where Nadal won in straight sets (7-5, 6-3).

Nadal's forehand will continue to provide problems for Federer in Friday's match.

His forehand is considered one of the toughest in tennis, which has helped him to hundreds of wins and many titles. Nadal hits a strong and powerful topspin forehand and as a result, a very sharp brushing effect is created as the back of the ball comes in contact with the racket.

Trying to stop Nadal's forehand will be a challenge for Federer, who arguably has one of the best backhands in tennis.

Nadal also is extremely athletic. His speed enables him to get to balls quicker, which enables him to have better momentum on returning shots with the forehand.

If you look at the video, you will see that Nadal's forehand is a bit unorthodox. He opens his shoulders wide and drives off both legs. Those two distinct motions actually help him create the tough topspin that is difficult to handle.

Most of the returns that Nadal gets from opponents end up being short shots. This enables him to follow with another strong shot, which is why the majority of Nadal's points come from returns and forehands.

Federer will be up for the task, however. As mentioned before, Federer has been playing well largely in part due to his strength on serves. Federer has benefited from service points. In his most recent match, Federer recorded 89 of his 147 total point via serves.

A historic rivalry. Two different styles of play. Left-hander versus a right-hander. Nadal versus Federer will live up to the hype. Look for Nadal to overpower the aging Federer with his improving play and take the match, which will be his 23rd all-time over Federer.