Australian Open 2012: Final Showdown

Rating 4.00 out of 5

The Australian Open is coming to a close, but the action continues and it keeps getting better. With four of the best in the world reaching in the semi finals, the top two are through to the finals. The way the semi finals were played in both men’s and women’s singles draw, we can just imagine how the final will turnout. The Oz Open ’12 as its previous editions has been very well conducted and organised and with the Aussie fans in the court with the Mexican wave going on the players get motivated to play their top level of tennis through out the course of the tournament. I request all my readers not to miss the Women’s Singles Finals scheduled today (Saturday 28th Jan) and Men’s Singles Final scheduled tomorrow (Sunday 29th Jan). Lets peep in what developed in the Rod Laver Arena where the Legend himself was in attendance.

Men’s Singles Draw
First Semi Final
[2] Rafael Nadal def. [3] Roger Federer
The Federer, Nadal(FEDAL) match has always been an event in itself. No matter who wins, the crowd has always loved the occasion when these two play together. Federer perhaps the greatest ever in the history and Nadal the all muscular and relentless player, came together for the tenth time in a Grand Slam, this however was only their second semi final tie since 2005 Roland Garros. Hence all the matches they play has been treated like a final of an event, even if it is not. Nadal who is looking to win his 11th Grand Slam, the second Australian Open title has gone through a rough phase last season second half; on the other end of the court was the 16th time Grand Slam Champion looking to win his fifth Australian Open who is unbeaten in last five months.

The match started with a high level of tennis, Federer was playing his one-handed backhand to perfection and came a break up in the very first set. Nadal on the other hand was looking for answers to Federer’s game and soon found them when he broke Federer with the first chance he got. We were on serve, but Federer’s serve was absolutely immaculate. He focused on the returned points and took the mini break in the first set tie breaker, Nadal played the best he could but FedEx was unstoppable as he took the first set 7-6(5). But Nadal was on his game now and he looked confident, however Nadal serve was broken in the very first game of the set, this gave him the boost he must have looked for as he broke back immediately. Nadal now more confident about his game started perfecting his forehands and this time it was Federer who was looking for answers. Nadal served 83% first serve. He broke the Federer serve two more times and took the set 6-2.

In the third set Nadal was stepping up and Federer knew the third set was very important for him. Nadal was on his game and Federer got distracted with the Australia Day fireworks break and served in double faults giving Nadal the edge. Federer made 25 unforced error which is quite unlike him may be because he was doing something that he doesn’t do often by smashing the aces even on the second serve and hitting hard forehands. The set again went into a tiebreaker. Nadal looked to have boosters attached to him as he went up with 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker. But Federer was not finished yet and he saved four set points when Nadal finally took the set holding on to his nerve 7-6(5). The gruelling encounter was going to reach three hours with no one in the audience moving off their seats. We were into the fourth set where Nadal gave his all to save his serve because Federer was serving ahead. Federer committed 14 unforced error compared to just six by Nadal. Nadal taking the set and the match 6(5)-7 6-2 7-6(5) 6-4 to book a place in the finals. It was a tough game, but Nadal looked to be going as per a plan and was not deterred even after losing on serve or an important point. He was going to play against the winner of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Match.

Second Semi Final
[1] Novak Djokovic def. [4] Andy Murray
This match was absolutely breath-taking. This was a rematch of the last years final and both the players played it like the final. Last time around Djokovic beat Murray in straight sets. Djokovic and Murray both have been in exceptional form in the tournament before they met each other losing just a set on their way. I do not need to tell you about their accomplishments and what great champion both of the players are. So lets straight dive into the match. The match was filled with anticipation and I personally felt that Murray is the only person who can defeat the best of Djokovic. Djoker was quick to take a 3-1 lead in the first set breaking Murray serve, however impressive Murray broke back immediately. The defending champion broke back quickly and took the set 6-3.

The match was turning out to be a long one from the onset with lots of long rallies, but Djokovic was on his game and took a 2-0 lead in the second set. But Murray came back with a break of his own levelling it 2-2 after Djokovic forehand went long. The temperamental Scott was able to dictate terms from there on and ran away with the set 6-3, levelling the match with a set all. The match was already approaching two hours. The third set saw Murray come in with confidence and broke early as the match turned into a heavyweight arm wrestling match. But with every advantage that Murray took, a tired looking Djokovic came back with a break of his own immediately. The third set was filled with long rallies and was eventually decided by the third set tiebreaker which in itself was filled with long rallies. Murray holding his nerve and taking the set 7-6(4).

With seemingly out of the match Djokovic rose like a Phoenix from the ashes taking a 4-0 lead in the third set. Djokovic came with his best after some energy drinks and bananas winning nearly 60% of return points, taking the set 6-1, a surprisingly short set compared to the last set which lasted for nearly an hour and half. After this I felt Djokovic will take the match, because a comeback gives a lot of confidence. Murray’s comeback in second saw him through a tough third set and Djokovic’s fourth set performance looked to get him all the way through. The fifth set started as the clock was about to hit midnight match had already lasted for four hours. Both players were looking to get an early break and it was the World No.1 who rose up to the occasion with the first break taking a 4-2 lead. But the match was not over yet, Murray took a break of his own bring the set 5-4 on serve as the audience cheered every point of the match which had already crossed four and half hours on the clock. But the Murray’s resistance finally gave in as the Djoker took the break and the match after a stunning last rally of the match. Djokovic winning in five sets 6-3 3-6 6(4)-7 6-1 7-5. Djokovic will play finals against former champion Rafael Nadal.

My heart says Nadal but the brain says Djokovic. Tennis now has become a game of uncertainty with most of the battle played in the mind. The player holding his nerve will be the winner.

Meanwhile Maria Sharapova will face Victoria Azeranka today for the 2012 Oz Open Women’s Championship


About Anshuman

Computer Engineer ... MBA .. Endurance Runner ... Physics Geek ... Genius
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