Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the men’s final at Melbourne Park

Roger Federer set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer has won the first two matches of his career, and looks set to defeat Rafael Nadal in a thrilling men’s final on Friday, while Andy Murray will also face Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a match of the year contenders.

The Swiss doubles world champion will play his first singles match at the age of 36 in a rematch of the final last year, when he beat him in three sets.

The third-ranked Federer has gone undefeated in his past five matches — including two wins on grass courts — and is on course for a ninth Australian Open title, beating Nadal in the season-ending Madrid Masters in February.

The world number one is aiming to win his tenth Australian Open title and to become the first man to make a men’s final at Melbourne Park since Bjorn Borg, who lost in 1994.

But Nadal looks likely to win the tournament and his sixth French Open title, if Djokovic and Murray do not win their first matches of the tournament.

Federer is a four-time champion and was ranked world number one for the fourth straight week when he beat Kevin Anderson of Australia in straight sets in straight sets on Friday.

The two men are the top seeds in their respective events, which conclude with the women’s final on Saturday.

Federer will meet one of the best players in the world in the men’s final. Nadal beat Murray in a five-set thriller in Doha last week, as the Serb extended what was a career best run to his fifth Australian Open title.

The Spaniard will give Murray a big test, having beaten Murray 11-9 in a close encounter in the first round.

The second seed is playing through his thigh contusion in his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the final of the Madrid Masters last week. He has played through the injury in almost half of his matches in 2018, including at the Australian Open and French Open.

Federer was asked if he considered the injury to be serious or not, and, without hesitation, said: “Not at all

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