Posts Tagged ‘2010 Australian Open

31
Jan
10

Federer wins his 4th. Aussie Open…..16th. Grand Slam!

Andy Murray’s title dream died as he was well beaten in straight sets by Roger Federer in the final of the Australian Open on Sunday.

Federer was in brilliant form as he claimed a 16th Grand Slam singles title with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 (13/11) victory in Melbourne.

In winning for the fourth time Down Under, the world number one played some of his now-familiar sublime tennis in the opening two sets to gain full control of the match.

And although Murray battled hard and had his chances in the third set – including five set points in the tie-break – Federer was able to stand firm and close it out.

Afterwards Federer said he was “over the moon” at his latest success, but he also had consolatory words for Murray.

“Well done for your incredible tournament,” he said. “You are too good a player not to win a Grand Slam so don’t worry about it.”

The only excitement came in the 3rd. set tie breaker, when Murray had four set points and save 3 match points. Apart from that brief spell the match was completely one sided. Murray began the match wearing a blue shirt but it became drenched in sweat in just the first 5 games, a sure sign that he was very nervous. His serve never worked, and his legs must have felt like lead as he had trouble moving them to retrieve Roger’s shots.

For all the hype from the British press, and for the expectations by the public that saw their man fizzle out, let’s hope that their enthusiasm is a little less by the time Wimbledon comes around. Winning a Grand Slam is tough enough, but winning your first against Roger Federer is almost impossible!

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30
Jan
10

Serena wins her 5th Aussie Open!…..12th. Grand Slam!

Serena Williams denied Justine Henin of a fairytale return in her first grand slam since coming out of a 20-month retirement with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena.

Both players suffered from nerves in the early exchanges, but top seed Williams broke her Belgian opponent twice to wrap up the opening set in 51 minutes.

Henin valiantly battled back in the second as Williams began to show signs of tiredness.

Although the first two games went with serve, Henin broke Williams in the third game when the American played a poor volley that the Belgian whipped across court.

Williams immediately broke back and held her next service game to lead 3-2 before her game started to unravel and Henin reeled off the next four games in succession.

Henin won the last nine points in a row to force the match into a deciding third set and looked on course to deny Williams of a fifth title in Melbourne by taking the opening game.

But Williams stamped her class when it mattered to win the first three-set women’s final since Wimbledon in 2006 – when Henin was also on the wrong end of the scoreline against Amelie Mauresmo.

29
Jan
10

May the best man win!

It’s been quite a while since the two finalists entering a Grand Slam final have been in such good physical shape. Neither Federer nor Murray have any excuses for a poor performance. They have had a day more than normal to rest their bodies, and neither has been pushed too hard in their matches leading up to the final. Murray has only lost one set, while Federer has lost two. They had no medical time outs, no trainers to fix cramps, no limps, and no bandages adorn their arms or legs.

Even though Murray does hold an edge over Federer in the games won and lost, the edge must be in Federer’s favour when it comes to Grand Slam finals. A win would be #16!

The pressure from the British press, his family and his entourage cannot be ignored, and for Murray as he steps onto the court in Rod Laver arena to face the best player in the world, maybe the best ever, his heart will be pumping and his nerves must be taken into consideration for the duration of the first set. If he loses the first set, he will be faced with the daunting task of winning 3 out of 4 sets against Federer.

In his match with Nadal, Murray showed that he could be offensive rather than defensive, and if he fails to exert pressure on Federer and allows Federer to pin him deep behind the baseline, his defensive style cannot win the match. It was obvious when he lost the first set in the Cilic match that his defense was not good enough to hold off the aggressive Croatian. Murray eventually won because Cilic ran out of gas. As smart as he is, Murray is not as experienced as Federer nor can he read his opponent and change tactics as well as Federer does. If Murray’s ‘A’ Plan does not work and he is forced to revert to his ‘B’ plan, his fate will be sealed!

I would love to see the underdog win…..but I wouldn’t waste my money on a bet against Roger Federer!

29
Jan
10

Williams sister win their 4th Aussie doubles title.

The Williams sisters won the Australian title for the first time in 2001 and added championships in 2003 and last year. Black, of Zimbabwe, and Huber, a South African-born American citizen, won the Australian Open doubles title in 2007 and were the top-seeded team in the tournament this year.

“I have to congratulate Venus and Serena for a great tournament – you guys are too good,” Black said.

It was the 11th time the Williams sisters have combined for a Grand Slam doubles title.

Serena has 11 singles majors, also, and is hoping for a 12th in the Australian Open final on Saturday against Justine Henin.

“I look forward to more titles,” Serena Williams said after the doubles win.

The Williams sisters broke to go up 4-3. Serena faced two break points on her serve in the next game before she held.

With Venus serving for the set, the sisters clinched the opener when Black netted a forehand on a second set point.

28
Jan
10

‘Red Hot’ Cilic peppered by Murray!

Marin Cilic ran out of gas. The young man from Croatia discovered that winning a Grand Slam event is more than playing great tennis, it is about conserving energy in the early rounds, and saving something for the semi final and final. After too many hours on the court that included 5 set wins over Tomic, Del Potro and Roddick, it was to be expected that Cilic would be exhausted. He expended all of his reserves in the first set winning 6-3, but it was all downhill from then on. Murray elevated his game and slowly ground Cilic down by keeping the ball in play and extending the length of the rallies. He won the next three sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Murray moves through to the final where he will meet the winner of the Federer Tsonga match, and unless Federer suffers an injury or a complete meltdown, he should win in 3 sets.

Murray is one of the few players who holds a winning record over Federer, but this will be the final of a Grand Slam, and Federer usually finds a little something extra in important matches.

The pressure is clearly on Andy Murray!

28
Jan
10

Serena Williams v. Justine Henin in the 2010 Aussie Final.

Defending champion Serena Williams has advanced to her fifth Australian Open final and will put her 100 percent record here on the line against Justine Henin, who is only two tournaments into her comeback from retirement.

Both advanced over Chinese players on Thursday to set up a championship match involving two former Australian champions.

Top-ranked Williams wasted four match points before finishing off a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) semifinal win with an ace against Li Na on Thursday, a day after her sister Venus lost to the Chinese player in the quarterfinals.

Henin overwhelmed 2008 Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie 6-1, 6-0 in 51 minutes, the shortest match of this tournament and the most lopsided semifinal at the Australian Open since Chris Evert beat Andrea Jaeger by the same score in 1982.

Williams leads Henin 7-6 in career head-to-heads, although they’ve never met in a Grand Slam final. Williams won their last match, at Miami in 2008, just before Henin retired suddenly while holding the No. 1 ranking.

“I can’t wait for the final. It’s such an amazing chance that I have to play another final in Melbourne,” said Henin, who won the 2004 title in Melbourne and retired with stomach problems during the 2006 final against Amelie Mauresmo. “It’s a very special occasion, but the dream continues.

“I’m going to play the No. 1 player in the world in a Grand Slam final. She’s a real fighter.”

Serena Williams has won the title every time she’s played for the championship since beating Venus here in 2003. The winning sequence has been every odd-numbered year so far.

21
Jan
10

Hewitt and Baghdatis set for a 3rd round rematch!

Lleyton Hewitt dug deep into his reserves of time-honoured grit to defeat American Donald Young on Thursday and set up an enticing third round encounter with Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

Hewitt and Baghdatis’s last meeting at the Australian Open was another third round encounter in 2008, a five-set marathon that had both players slugging it out until after 4:30 a.m. — the tournament’s latest ever finish.

The 22nd seeded Australian won the match but Baghdatis, who rallied to defeat Spain’s David Ferrer earlier on Thursday, avenged the loss in a hard-fought three-set win at the Sydney International last week.

“We’ve played each other three times. It’s not quite like Nadal-Federer just yet,” Hewitt, wearing the Australian flag on his sleeve, told reporters after defeating Young 7-6 6-4 6-1.

“I know what to expect. He’s in good form and hitting the ball extremely clean. He’s gonna be feeling confident after winning last week.”

“Knocking off David Ferrer in five sets isn’t easy either,” said Hewitt, who was beaten in another hard-fought clash by the Cypriot at the quarter finals in Wimbledon in 2006.

Two-time grand slam champion Hewitt last major tilt at his home major was in 2005 when Marat Safin beat him in the final, but the Australian still dreams of hoisting the trophy despite the growing toll of age and injuries.

21
Jan
10

Williams sisters lead the way on day 4’s winners.

Serena Williams, the Australian Open defending champion who has 11 major singles titles, beat Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1. Venus, who has seven, defeated Austrian Sybille Bammer 6-2, 7-5.

Top-seeded Roger Federer beat Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in a night match at Rod Laver Arena attended by Prince William, second in line to the British throne.

Federer lost last year’s Australian final to Rafael Nadal, who plays his third-round match on Friday.

Federer acknowledged Prince William in the crowd after the match.

“Your Royal Highness, welcome to the world of tennis. Thanks for coming,” Federer said.

Venus preceded her sister at Hisense Arena with the roof open under a warm, sunny Melbourne afternoon that morphed into an early evening sky streaked by twilight.

Only one Williams can make it through to the final on Jan. 30 – they are drawn to face each other in the semifinals if they advance that far. The way they played Thursday, it’s a good chance they will.

Serena, who has won the Australian Open every odd-numbered year since 2003, was more dominant, completing her match in just over an hour and converting four of her 11 break-point chances.

“I feel if I play well, I can beat anybody,” Serena Williams said.

Serena didn’t know how her sister was doing before she went on court.

“No, I didn’t watch Venus,” Serena said. “I can’t really watch her on TV, and definitely not before I play. I get way too nervous.”

Venus Williams, who has been to the final at Melbourne Park just once, when she lost to her sister in 2003, spent about 30 minutes more on court to beat Bammer. She faced her second left-hander in a row – she beat Lucie Safarova in the first round.

“Playing two lefties in the first two rounds is little unusual, but I was up for the challenge,” Venus said. “Her game is a little bit different from most people, so really have to be a little more patient because she’s kind of hitting a kind of a moonball almost. I just had to just make sure I stayed on my rhythm.”

Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 Australian Open finalist and French Open winner the same year, never found her rhythm. She extended her run of poor results in a second-round 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 loss to Gisela Dulko of Argentina.

Since her French Open win, she has failed to get past the fourth round of a major six times.

Ivanovic says she’s still a work in progress and is probably playing better than in 2008, when she attained the No. 1 ranking. Personal pressure might be the difference.

“I think it’s expectations from myself that I put,” Ivanovic said. “Actually, I think I’m striking the ball better now than I did in 2008 or any previous years. My movement is getting there. It will take some time.”

U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark advanced 6-3, 6-1 over Julia Goerges of Germany and will next play No. 29 Shahar Peer of Israel, who beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-1, 6-4.

Wozniacki could play Venus Williams in the quarterfinals.

“I think she has the potential … the sky’s the limit,” Williams said of Wozniacki. “Obviously if we both play well enough, it could happen.”

Other women advancing were No. 7 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, No. 9 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 16 Li Na of China and No. 32 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

In men’s matches, Djokovic had a slow start against Swiss journeyman Marco Chiudinelli before advancing 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

No. 9 Fernando Verdasco, who played the longest match in the tournament’s history before losing to fellow Spaniard Nadal in the semifinals last year, advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Ivan Sergeyev of Ukraine. No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who lost the 2008 final to Djokovic, had a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over American Taylor Dent.

“This court is most special because I won my only Grand Slam here,” the 22-year-old Djokovic said of Rod Laver Arena, where he beat Federer in the semifinals en route to the 2008 title. “It has the nicest possible memories.”

Djokovic will next play Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who beat Michael Berrer of Germany 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko had a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 win over Ukraine qualifier Illya Marchenko. Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 finalist, struggled with cramping late in his match but held on to beat No. 17 David Ferrer of Spain 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-1.

Baghdatis will face former No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, who had a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-1 win over American Donald Young. The last Hewitt-Baghdatis match at Melbourne Park was a third-rounder that finished at 4:34 a.m. in 2008.

“It was sort of epic in the locker room before we went on the court as well,” Hewitt recalled Thursday of the lengthy match. “We both warmed up and kept getting told we were going to be the next match on.

“It was just a weird situation for both of us to be in. Then to go five sets like it did, it just added to the drama.”

20
Jan
10

Young Tomic has every Aussie on the edge of their seats!

Deep into Thursday morning, seventeen year-old Australian wunderkind Bernard Tomic proved the hype about his future is well-founded, after a fierce battle with Croatian number 14 seed Marin Cilic for a place in the third round of the Australian Open.

Cilic eventually won the grinding three hour, 48 minute marathon 6-7, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at 2.08am

Cilic broke the Tomic serve in the ninth game of the deciding set to take a 5-4 lead. Tomic fought out the match to the end, with several long rallies in the final game, but the more experienced baseliner had the winners when it mattered.

After a nine-minute eighth game, Cilic eventually held his serve to level up the epic clash 4-4. Tomic twice held break points, and if he had converted, he would have been serving for victory.

At 1.40am, Tomic won the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead in the deciding set, after a ten minute battle to hold his serve that went to deuce several times. Despite sapping, hard-hitting 20-shot rallies, the young Australian was still finding reserves of skill and energy as the match stretched beyond 200 minutes.

Tomic, ranked 289, was a $4.70 outsider with Betfair to win the match as it went into its fifth and deciding set, but the tenacious Queenslander had already bounced back from losing the second set, exceeding expectations with his stamina in pushing his 21 year-old opponent.

Tomic hit only four aces, compared to the 198cm Croat’s 25, but his persistent ground shots kept him in the match, and his ability to rejuvenate himself after suffering disappointments surprised Cilic, who made the fourth round of this tournament last year.

Tomic hit only 33 winners, compared to Cilic’s 91, but he made fewer unforced errors (63-70), and his consistency, resolve and maturity, backed by the hardy remnants of the evening session crowd at Rod Laver Arena, saw the match go the distance.

20
Jan
10

Del Potro defeats a reinvigorated Blake in a thriller.

U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro recovered from a set down to advance to the third round of the Australian Open after surviving a marathon battle against American James Blake Wednesday.

The fourth-seeded Del Potro had been in danger of becoming the highest-ranked men’s player to be eliminated before he rallied from a break down in the fifth set to take the match 6-4 6-7 5-7 6-3 10-8 in four hours, 17 minutes.

The 30-year-old American, who twice had treatment on his right knee that had to be strapped during the match, had held a 2-0 advantage in the final set though the tall Argentine managed to fight back to put the match back on serve.

Del Potro had the opportunity to serve for the match in the 12th game only to be denied by Blake before he finally took the advantage again in the 17th and sealed it with a massive serve that Blake was unable to return on the next game.




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