The men's final of the 2017 Australian Open was always going to be something special, but it provided us with an unexpected highlight before the match even got underway.

As Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal waited in the locker room before strolling out onto centre court, we saw something you hardly ever witness in sport.

Classical violinist Nigel Kennedy and the Orchestra of Life performed before the main event, and it's safe to say they gave most of the crowd at Rod Laver Arena an experience very few would ever have enjoyed before.

Kennedy shredded the electric violin in a song called Face Off, which was composed specifically for Sunday's final. It was definitely different to the usual pre-match entertainment you get at sporting fixtures.


So often football codes in Australia suffer the embarrassment of pre-match entertainment gone horribly wrong - think a power outage robbing Billy Idol of his crowning moment before the 2002 NRL grand final and Meat Loaf falling flat at the AFL decider in 2011.

Tennis Australia decided it wouldn't risk engaging the services of any ageing rockers, turning instead to a genre plenty of people probably didn't even know existed. It was different, and many weren't sure exactly how to respond to the unique phenomenon.

It was certainly absolutely nothing like the show before Serena Williams played sister Venus on Saturday night, which featured Toby Francis singing Cyndi Lauper's famous tune True Colours.

For the record, we thought it was pretty impressive. Anyone who can make the violin look cool is aces in our book (pun intended).

Federer and Nadal are playing each other in a grand slam final for the first time since 2011 in what is another chapter in one of tennis's most extraordinary rivalries.