After an agonizing defeat after nearly six hours of battle in the 2012 Australian Open final Rafael Nadal has returned the favour to Novak Djokovic.
It has been just four months since Rafa returned to play after a seven month injury time out but the Spaniards body appeared to be near it’s powerful best during the four hour 37 minute match which he won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7.
Normally a slow starter, Rafa raced out of the gates as did Djokovic, both keen to assert themselves on the baseline and both refusing to back down at any point. Nadal drew first blood at 4-3 and then confidently held during a relatively routine first set. Read more »
Australia’s Davis Cup selections will come down to a battle of the wills that it sounds like Pat Rafter is determined to win, refusing to let the cocky, but talented, 20 year old call the shots.
During the Australian Open Bernard Tomic sounded like a petulant child when describing his potential contribution to the Davis Cup team, essentially saying that Pat would hear from him when Bernard wanted to play. Read more »
Victoria Azarenka has successfully defended her Australian Open title by defeated the injured Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
After shooting herself in the foot in the semi finals when she called for a lengthy injury time out for a rib/breathing issue and later repeatedly made it sound like she was choking and needed the time out for anxiety purposes, Vika was sure to be fighting for the crowds support. Her opponent, Li Na, has long been adored by the Australian crowd for her good sportsmanship and hilarious post match interviews. Read more »
Coming into his match with Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka had been in great form but few really anticipated that he would provide much resistance against Novak, let alone keep him on court for five hours and almost beat him.
Ultimately Novak won 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 but Wawrinka is bound to now be a crowd favourite for years to come much the same way Fernando Verdasco became after his 2009 match against Rafael Nadal.
Wawrinka was simply impressive. He hammered 16 aces down compared to Djokovic’s 9 and didn’t serve a double fault until the fourth hour of the match. He punished 69 winners to 51 from Nole but was ultimately undone but his error count. Read more »
32 year old Venus Williams, who has battled serious injuries over the last two seasons, was thumped by Maria Sharapova today. Sharapova booked her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open with the 6-3, 6-1 win, having previously won her matches in 6-0, 6-0 style.
In 2011 Venus was forced out of the Open with a psoas tear – a uncommon and difficult injury to treat. It was then revealed that Venus has been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and since then she has struggled to re-find any sort of form that captured her multiple Grand Slam trophies.
‘I really wanted this victory. I was 5-1 up and made a couple more errors than I would have liked so I was very pleased to have served it out.’
Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam at the French Open last year, will face Kirsten Flipkins in the next round.
Despite winning the Hopman Cup as part of Team Spain, Fernando Verdasco has failed to find the form that pushed him into the hearts of many at the 2009 Australian Open. Verdasco has been bundled out of the Open by Kevin Anderson.
Anderson won the third round battle 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 with 160 points to Verdasco’s 149. Read more »
Laura Robson has defeated former Wimbledon Champion and 8th seed Petra Kvitova 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 in a match that wasn’t always pretty but was entertaining right to the very end. An end which came at 12.30 am after a three hour match.
Both players struck the ball beautifully at times but the errors mounted for both players, particularly on Kvitova’s serve. Robson his 25 winners to 51 unforced errors and counted 12 double faults to her name by the end of the match. For her part Petra has 42 winners, 41 unforced errors and a colossal 18 double faults. Read more »