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Nadal def. Federer: Nadal won his first major on a hard court while denying Federer‘s attempt to match Sampras’ 14 major record. This marks the first time a Spaniard has won the Aussie Open. The high level of play we saw in the 2008 Wimbledon final continued into the early sets of the Aussie final. Given the record setting five hour, fourteen minute semi between Nadal and Verdasco, Federer’s attempted to capitalize on Nadal’s fatigue. It didn’t work. Nadal did seem tire out early on but was resilient enough to take it to a fifth set where Federer appeared to wither. Nadal’s strategy, to constantly serve and return to Federer’s backhand worked.
Federer broke down in tears during his acceptance speech. He had to walk away to compose himself. He stood their crying for what seemed like an eternity as the crowed cheered. He finished his speech, fighting back the tears after Nadal picked up his trophy. I’ve never seen anything like that.
Trivia Tidbit: The coin toss is irrelevant for every Federer/Nadal match. No matter who wins, Nadal always elects to server and Federer always elects to receive.
S. Williams def. Safina: Serena Williams embarrassed Dinara Safina in a 6-0, 6-3 loss lasting less than an hour. This was Williams’ fourth Aussie Open win and 10th grand slam title. Safina’s performance tournament-wide was less than spectacular. She needs more work. She apologized to the crowd for her poor performance. The crowd forgave her.
Continue reading “Australian Open (2009) Second Week – Nadal and Serena Win”
Below is a roundup of my thoughts and observations concerning the first week matches at the 2009 Australian Open.
Click on the photos below to view full-sized versions.
Nadal Tweaks his Game & His Outfit: Number 1 seeded Nadal has changed his service stance (a little more open, left leg further back and tighter in) to try and get more speed on his serve. It seems to be working so far. His average first serve speed at the Aussie Open in 2009 is 113 mph. His average speed in 2008 was 109 mph. He is also dropping the elbow close to the body to take topspin off his forehand and flattening his forehand to work better on the slower Australian courts. As for fashion, his shorts are a little shorter and he has shirt sleeves for the first time. You’d think that with all his millions, he’d be able to hire a designer to solve his constant wedge problem. But no, he was tugging at the back of his new shorts as much as he ever has.
Roddick: Roddick lost 15 pounds in the off-season. He lost the weight to gain speed. Speed is needed to compete with the top players these days. Fabrice Santoro did Roddick a big favor by knocking out Kohlschreiber in the second round. Kohlschreiber defeated Roddick at the 2008 Aussie Open. I’m looking forward to his next match with Djokovic (assuming Djokovic beats Baghdatis) in the quarters. I’ll be cheering for Roddick! Is it just me, or does that KIA logo make you hunger for a Kit-Kat too?
Continue reading “Australian Open (2009) – First Week Roundup”
Official Wimbledon Site | Men’s Draw | Ladies’ Draw |
The first week of a grand slam usually offers terrific tennis. This week was no exception. There were some major upsets and terrific matches. See my "Wimbledon 2008 Begins" post for my Monday observations.
There was a touching moment (depicted in the picture above – click for larger view) this week when Richard Williams went over and shook the hand of Mr. Keothavong after Richard’s daughter Venus beat his daughter Anne 7-6, 6-2 in the 2nd round. Mr. Keothavong was clearly impressed.
Tuesday – Davenport Injury
It was difficult to watch my all-time favourite woman’s player, Davenport’s, struggle with an ‘aggravated’ knee (an MRI after the match revealed inflammation behind the knee cap – not a permanent injury). Davenport’s career is near and end. It was sad to see her bow out on Thursday. But in an interview on Thursday she said she’ll be ready for the Beijing Olympics in a few weeks.
Two of Wednesday’s matches are prime examples of why watching early round grand slam matches can be so fulfilling:
- Nathalie Dechy and Ana Ivanovic played three nail-biting sets. As much as I like Ivanovic I was cheering for Dechy all the way. What terrific play. But for an Ivanovic shot that barely dribbled over the net on match point in the 2nd, 97th ranked Dechy would have won the match against the current world’s number 1. Below Ana is kissing the part of the net where the ball hit the net chord.
Continue reading “Wimbledon 2008 – First Week”