It’s been a crazy, stormy ride this week, following Tennis Australia’s AO Wildcard Playoff tourney to today’s conclusion. So quite fittingly, I guess, there’s a crazy, stormy forecast for Melbourne today. “Isolated showers, becoming widespread around midday with small hail possible later.” Great.

Regardless of rain, hail or whatever the angry hellfire the weather gods can throw down on the Melburnians, the finals will take place. Only question is: if they’re played indoors (which is the remarkably innovative contingency plan), will they be streamed?

Here’s my hope: there’s some rain early, then a miraculous clearing, so that the towel brigade is once again called into action and I can see this kid again:

I guess there are no child labor laws in Australia?

But, rain or shine, this match will be played:

[1] Peter Luczak vs. [2] Marinko Matosevic: Australia’s number two vs. number three players, #137 and 138 in the world, respectively. The two have never played before, so this final is all about form coming in.

I’ve seen two Marinko matches in their entirety this week – the dicey-at-times 6-4 7-6 (6) win over Michael Look in Round Two and his more convincing 6-4 6-2 win over seventh seed Greg Jones – plus a few of the now-notorious 5.2-second “live look-ins” of his semifinal match, including a miraculous game-long look-in as he closed out Adam Feeney yesterday. And from what I’ve seen, it’s Marinko that has the most impressive form at the moment. He’s cut down on both errors and tantrums, and is hitting with alarming power and precision. It’s tempting to say he’ll just roll right over Luczak in this final.

But I think I’ve seen every ball Looch has hit this week, and though he’s been shaky at times – losing a set in his first match to 16 year-old Luke Saville, eking out a win over ninth seed James Lemke, and saving 4 match points before beating 4 seed Ebden in the semis – you just can never count him out. A dogged and determined competitor to the end, the ever-youthful 31 year-old has an amazing resilience that may end up frustrating Marinko, especially if the match is played outdoors in dodgy conditions.

So I’d say it’s nigh impossible to pick this one (and some fans are thankful for this, as my pick would surely doom the pickee). Heck, we don’t even know where it will be played at this point. What I do know is that I really want to watch this match. So I pray that either the weather holds and the match can be played on our regularly-streamed main court, or that there’s somehow a stream of the indoor court. And I hope that the tennis gods aren’t as angry as the weather gods, so they don’t rain hellfire on my prayer parade.

Update at 11 a.m. AEDST/7 p.m EST: The radar looks grim, but play is on for now. Sounds like they’ll be streaming indoors or out!  Watch here:

http://live.tennis.com.au/

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