Australian Open Final: the results

Epic Encounter: Thunder Down Under

It had the makings of a classic and it sure lived up to its hype. Except that this time Rafa didn’t fade away mid-way through the match. What a fantastic finish to the 1st grand slam of the season. The longest grand slam final in the open era might not have been sheer quality from start to finish but the fine shot making in the 4th and decisive 5th set more than made up for it. Two great warriors going at it for almost 6 hours, neither willing to let up, fighting for every point, making shots by the slightest of margins even though they were devoid of any energy in the closing stages, Nole more so than Rafa.

Rafa’s effort is surely commendable. I don’t know if he has solved the Djokovic puzzle but he is definitely close. The only question left in my mind is if Rafa was able to fight back because of the dip in Novak’s level of play (due to visible fatigue) or if he’s taken his game to a higher level. Djokovic was coming to the final after battling Murray for nearly 5 hours and the weariness showed as Rafa took the 1st set. Nole thoroughly outplayed him in the 2nd and 3rd sets and it seemed like it was going to be another 4 set win for Nole. Rafa, ever the fighter had other plans. Through sheer will and determination he was able to play toe to toe in the 4th set and despite being triple break down in the 8th game, he fought back gallantly and took the 4th in a breaker.

Momentum was clearly with Rafa in the 5th as Djokovic could barely move but somehow was able to play through it. Up 3-2, 30-15 Rafa missed a routine forehand volley that will give him nightmares. He squandered the chance to go up 5-2 and got broken back. That might have been all that Nole needed to claw his way back and once again show his supreme level of play that has befuddled Rafa the past 12 months. Djokovic might have  won the match, and praise to him for his win but Rafa’s fighting spirit is unmatched and if he can indeed keep up this newfound belief that he can beat Djokovic he has every chance of taking back the no. 1 ranking.

The 2 best players in the game made it to the final and unfortunately one had to lose. It wasn’t Rafa’s day but I am sure in the coming battles between these two, Rafa will come out on top. On to Indian Wells. Vamos Rafa!

Rafael Nadal Of Spain Gestures

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12 thoughts on “Australian Open Final: the results

  1. This is a great write-up of the final! You ask a very interesting question, “if Rafa was able to fight back because of the dip in Novak’s level of play (due to visible fatigue) or if he’s taken his game to a higher level.” It’s tough to tell, b/c even when Novak appears to be suffering, his movement doesn’t suffer too much. Given the long rallies where Rafa and Novak run each other around for one point, I guess it’s a little bit of both — Novak’s level dipped a little, so Rafa was able to battle back, but it’s b/c Rafa battled so hard that Novak’s level dropped.

    Novak should have won the final in 4 sets, but he got pushed to the limit when Rafa won the tiebreak and forced a 5th set. I think that’s a positive sign that shows Rafa is one step closer to solving the Djokovic puzzle.

    • Thanks! I guess we will have to wait until March to see if Rafa has taken care of the mental side of things. Physically I think he was right there w/ Novak. Then again, Rafa has been the fittest among the lot for a long time now.

  2. A EPIC grand slam final and the longest ever at 5.53 minutes for the Aus Open. The match finished around 1:30am with 3 million viewers watching on television! The entire tournament itself broke record crowds with 686,000 members of the public entering the venue to watch!

    I ended up sleeping on the lounge-room couch watching the final here in Melbourne.. I’m sure the following slams this year will produce such great quality tennis. Lets hope Rafa’s battle next january brings more luck- can’t wait!

    • It ended after the sun was up on my end. Needless to say it was worth watching 🙂 Also, Rafa did gain over 800 ranking pts which should help him inch closer to no. 1.

    • btw did u get to go see any of the matches live? i didn’t know u lived in Melbourne. hope it’s not that blasting hot…as the commentators often did say was the case.

      • Yes! I was lucky enough to go 5 days, 3 of them being Rod Lava tickets (center court). The temp averaged between 25-35 degrees celcius.. So it did get quite hot!! Also was able to see our favourite spaniards numerous times hitting up on outside courts 🙂

      • tess u r super lucky. if u have an online photo album that u dont mind sharing, can u post a couple of pics (NO WORRIES if u cant, i’ll respect ur privacy)
        well then try to stay cool these days 🙂

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