Roger The Old Codger Too Hot For Nadal
Roger Federer rolled back the years with a vintage performance with a 6-4. 3-6, 6-1 , 4-6, 6-3 over Rafael Nadal in an enthralling five set encounter at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
It was great to see the pair in a Championship final after the two had both been decimated by injuries over the last few years and in addition seen the phenomenal rise of Andy Murray and Djokavic not to mention the under rated Stan Wawrinka and a posse of young pretenders with a tennis racket attempting to overthrow the old guard. Well it didn’t happen in Australia 2017 as the two totaling 65 years between them put on a delicious buffet of all round tennis.
In a hard fought first set Federer nicked the set after breaking in the seventh game as the two heroes of tennis over the years battled hammer and nail to outgun the other in a captivating match that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. It was the only break of the first set as Federer won it 6-4.
Some smart serving from both players, some superb returning, some great smashes and extended rallies ensured the paying Melbourne public as well as the millions watching on television were to see the old foes meet in the final of a centre court battleground possibly for a final time and give their absolute all.
It should be remembered that Nadal after coming back from a plethora of injuries was only seeded 9th and his Swiss opponent after 6 months out himself was seeded a lowly 17th.
Having dropped the first set Nadal came roaring back into action with a point to prove and prove it he did, playing wonderful shots and lulling Federer into a false sense of security. Nadal won the set 6-3.
Despite their ages, Federer is 35 and Nadal is 30 they both lunged around all four corners of the court like teenagers at a nightclub in spite of the near stifling heat and humidity. At one stage during a game break there was an amazing shot of Rafael Nadal with sweat just dripping off him as if someone had turned a tap on.
You couldn’t turn up the heat any more and the crowd were loving this box office spectacular.
The third set went back to Federer as the Swiss star made easy meat of his illustrious Spanish opponent winning this one by 6 games to 1 and after Nadal’s energy zapping semi final it was he of the two veterans that looked tired.
As well as some great tennis and superb winners there were also a lot of unforced and unexpected errors from the pair particularly in the 4th set from Federer that Nadal won by 6 games to 3. It appeared the tide was turning towards Spanish waters.
This led to a firecracker of a fifth set with the 8th game on Nadal’s serve having more deuces than a soft drinks convention.
The two stalwarts of tennis were like two heavyweights in the ring, slugging it out punch for punch with an epic 9th game with Federer calling two line calls and Nadal calling one. On Federer’s second match point Nadal’s return to Federer’s serve barely made it over the net as Federer swung his racket hard at the ball and the ball tantalizingly clipped the edge of the sideline. Federer thought he’d got it but Nadal called a review but to the delight of Federer the ball hit the line and Federer’s celebration were those of a man winning his first grand slam rather than his 18th.
Both players were humble and full of gratitude afterwards as the legendary Rod Laver presented them with their respective trophies.
A fitting tribute to a great final and to two legends that once again proved why they are so popular. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer provided an incredible match whereby the main winner was tennis.
Australian Women’s Open Final
Serena Clinches 7th Australian Title With Victory Over Sister
Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 to record an amazing 23rd Grand Slam Singles Title and her seventh Australian title.
Serena, 35, passed German maestro Steffi Graf in the all-time list of major winners since the Grand Slams accepted professional players in 1968.
Venus put little sister under pressure at the beginning with some long hitting forcing Serena into a number of unforced errors but slowly Serena forced herself back into the game as Venus started to slow.
With Venus serving in the seventh game Serena got on top and broke the 36 year old American with a whacking great forehand that Venus could do nothing about to lead 4-3 and following this the set went to serve 6-4 to Serena.
The second set saw the pressure mount on Venus and Serena was playing some attractive and decisive tennis once again breaking in the seventh game to lead 4-3 once more and closed the match out by 6 games to 4.
For Venus this was believe it or not only her second Australian Final and has never won the Australian Open Title but she belied her 36 years to put up a brave performance against her superior sister on this style of court. In fact this was Venus’s first major final for 8 years.
Incredulously all four players in the men’s and women’s finals were over 30 years of age and even more shocking three of the four were over 35 and this is supposed to be a young person’s game?