Tag: Australian Open 2012
It took the Australian Open defending champion a little less than five hours to defeat Andy Murray in the semifinals of the first Grand Slam of the season. Both players showed signs of weakness at one point or another, and even though Djokovics moments of struggle were much more evident than those of Murray, at the end the Serb took the best of his game to defeat Murray 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 7-5.
Now, the No. 1 ranked player in the world will face the Spaniard Rafael Nadal for the Championship Game on Sunday. If he manages to defeat Nadal in the Australian Open Finals, he will then become part of the elite 5 players who have managed to win three consecutive Grand Slams. The list includes the likes of Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, and his championship rival, Nadal.
This was an intense match. Murray wanted to find a little vindication since it was the Djoker himself who had stripped him from taking the Australian Open exactly a year ago in the finals. But once again, and despite the phenomenal fight put on by Murray, Djokovic won the match.
Both players recognized that the match was simply extenuating. It was a phenomenal game, filled with momentum swinging plays that kept the crowd at Melbourne Park cheering for the whole 5 hours. “You have to find strength in those moments and energy, and that keeps you going,” said Novak Djokovic in the postgame interview. “At this level, very few points decide the winner. “I think we both went through a physical crisis. You know, him at the fourth set, me all the way through the second and midway through the third. It was a very even match throughout, from the first to the last point.”
Murray hired Ivan Lendl as his personal coach just over six weeks ago. And Murray himself believes that he has already seen quite a positive change in his game. Perhaps with a little more time together, Lendl, an eight-time mayor winner could get Murray to reach the apex of his game. Despite the good fight, it’s got to be a very though setback to deal with. Let’s not forget that before been outplayed in this year’s semifinals, Andy Murray had managed to reach the Australian Open finals on the two previous years. And had lost them both, two Nadal and Djokovic.
It is still uncertain whether Novak Djokovic is still holding on the momentum he build last season, when he had one of the best years ever played by a tennis pro. The Djoker finished last year at No. 1 after winning three of the four majors. His only loss at a Grand Slam came at Roland Garros against Roger Federer, in the French Open Semifinals. Before that, Djokovic had only won a single Grand Slam, the 2008, Australian Open. Then again, he had also missed 11 straight Grand Slam finals, until 2011 kicked in. Now, on Sunday, he will have a chance to get back on the winning steak if he manages to defeat Nadal.
It’s been a while since we’ve covered the ATP Tour in this blog. Then again, this is also the first Grand Slam of the year and things are getting really hot in the Australian Open. But this story is not about Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or any of the usual suspects success in a given match. This little blog entry is about dealing with pressure and how when players lose their cool, things can get pretty interesting.
Perhaps it is the heat of the Australian summer, but it seems that the Argentinean David Nalbandian just couldn’t hold his anger any longer and suffered a little outburst in his five-set, second round game against John Isner of the United States. When Isner was serving in the fifth set, the umpire Kader Nouni, had declined his request to challenge a line call. Nouni had said that Nalbandian took too long before he actually made the challenge and thus declined his request to consider the play one more time.
At that point, John Isner was facing break point at 8-8 when he just smashed a served into the middle. The ball was first called out by the line judge but Nouni overruled the initial call, saying it was actually an Ace for Isner. So the bottom line was that Nalbandian didn’t realize that Nouni had overturned the call until they were face-to-face and little over 15 seconds had pass by since the play had been made.
He eventually went on a little rage trip and even threw some water at a staff member in the Australian Open. Earlier today, Nalbandian was charged with an $8,000 fine for what the organization called unsportsmanlike behaviour. The fine was eventually confirmed by the International Tennis Federation on Friday, and so far it is the highest fine in the 2012 Australian Open.
But perhaps it is Marcos Baghdatis, the one who showed all his rage in a racket destruction marathon on Wednesday. He was under a lot of pressure. Down to sets and a break, Baghadtis sat down on his chair during the changeover and just let his temper go wild. He was eventually charged $1,250 for smashing four (yes, four consecutive rackets) during the break. He took his first racket and smashed it seven times, until it was unrecognizable. Baghdatis calmly gave the messed up racket to a ballboy and look as his bag. He carefully pulled a new racket out and cracked that one as well. The next two, he didn’t even bother taking out of the plastic wrapping. They just went out straight into the court floor. It was a massacre.
It’s hard to say how his racquet sponsors are going to fill about this little incident. But it’s quite certain that the people who make the Tecnifibre TFlash 315 SpeedFlex are not too happy with him right now.
Follow all the Australian Open, with daily matchups and the most competitive betting lines in the sports wagering market at Betias.com. Stay tuned for more coverage of the best matches from the first Grand Slam of the season.