Rafael Nadal – The Australian Open Champion

What a Match! What a Player! What a Champion! Rafael Nadal Parera, take a bow!

Rafael Nadal - 2009 Australian Open Champion

In the just concluded final, Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer to take his first Australian Open crown in grand style. He won in five epic sets (well, four epic sets) – 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2. I say four because in the last set, Roger Federer looked like a pale shadow of the Champion that he is. In the third game of the set, he let slip a 30-0 advantage and made four unforced errors to hand Nadal a crucial break of serve and from thereon, it was all one-way traffic. Federer’s shoulders drooped, he was dejected and if any great comeback was expected, the hope of it was quickly dispatched by Nadal in the next two service games. He wrapped up the match on Federer’s service game, winning his first-ever Australian Open title.

I will restrain myself from running away with the detailed description and let you read the full match report here and here.

In a poignant ceremony, Federer was reduced to tears as he collected his runners-up trophy, his fifth at the hand of Nadal! Choked with emotion, he could barely say a word and on his second try, poured out his thanks and promised to come back next year (hoping in his heart that he doesn’t get to meet Nadal again!). Nadal made a short and succinct thank you speech and despite playing for 10+ hours looked as pumped up as he was at the start of the tournament. Champion stuff indeed!

In an earlier match, Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza won the Mixed Doubles title after beating the French/Israel pairing of Nathalie Dechy and Andy Ram 6-3, 6-1. This is Sania’s first Grand Slam title and Bhupathi’s seventh. There was another good news for Indian Tennis fans as teenager Yuki Bhambri won the Junior Boys’ title the day before. Liju has more in detail about the two wins here and here. The other winners at the first Grand Slam of 2009 were all American – Serena Williams, who won the Ladies’ Singles title as well as the Ladies’ Doubles trophy partnering elder sis Venus Williams & the Bryan Bros – Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan won the Men’s Doubles title.

Thus ended the first Grand Slam of 2009 – with the fairtyale run of Rafael Nadal not showing any signs of stopping anytime soon. Next in line is the French Open (which I don’t at all watch!) on the clay courts of Paris and few would bet against Rafa to win his fifth straight Roland Garros title.

Pic Courtesy: Australian Open Website

5 thoughts on “Rafael Nadal – The Australian Open Champion

  1. Wow, another fantastic match. I watched the whole match as I did with both semi finals. Although I was going for Federer I think Nadal totally deserves that victory and he is a true champion. To back a 5 set, 5 hour semi final up with another 5 set, 4 hour + final in less than 48 hours was a true show of Rafa’s strength and endurance. You could also see by the body language of the players and shot selection that Rafa had the edge on Federer mentally. To have won 6 grandslams on 3 different surfaces at Rafa’s age is a truely remarkable feat. I was hoping Federer would equal Sampras’ record of 14 grand slams but Rafa was truely deserving having played another great match. Rafa truely is an entertainer as he is involved in all three of the greatest matches I have now seen – the Wimbledon final against Federer last year, the semi final against Verdasco the other day and this final against Federer. It will be very tough for Federer to recover from the mental scarring that has occurred in this loss and the Wimbledon loss last year along with all the French Open losses to Nadal. Especially as the next Grand Slam event is the French Open which will most likely mean Federer copping another hiding to Nadal. It was however very sad to see Federer break down in tears at the presentation, it was a horrible feeling to watch. I imagine it was because of the Legends awaiting to congratulate Federer if he got the 14 grand slams that he got so emotional.

  2. After Liju, I too was expecting ya to publish it. I have two blogs in my reader whom I can trust to update on tennis. 🙂

    • @Poonam: Liju’s undoubtedly the more serious/detailed updater! Me, I just pen down anything tht comes to my mind 😎

      @Liju: I rmr we both were rooting for Fed over at FrHyd 😛 Hope Fed doesn’t lose his hunger (for Grand Slams i.e.) over this!

      @Felix: Yay F1! and Yay Soccer! too 😛

  3. I was expecting Federer to win 😦 Anyway, Rafa-Federer rivalry is giving us great matches in the way Sampras-Aggasi used to dish out.

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