Saturday, January 28, 2012

Australian Open

Nadal celebrates after beating Lopez
 Thought that I'd post about Melbourne.  We caught some of the fourth  round tennis last weekend -  Victoria Azarenka v Iveta Benesova; Rafael Nadal v Feliciano Lopez, and the pick Li, Na playing Kim Clijsters. 

While both Nadal and Azareka won in straight sets,  Li Na held four match points (during a tie-break) against Clijsters, yet lost that tiebreak, 8-6 and then lost the final set 6-4 (Clijsters held a 4 love lead, so Li Na worked her way back into the match. 

Can't help but feel a touch sad that Clijsters didn't make the final, especially given this is likely to be her last Australian Open.  The final Will be tight tonight, but I do favour Sharapova slightly, given her experience.
Melbourne, from our hotel room.
Was glad to see Murray play so well against Djokovic, especially given the Final last year. Murray seems a lot tougher mentally, and had his opportunities to win, even after going down 2-5 in the fifth set.  

From the Australian point of view, while we may have put Stosur under way too much pressure, both Hewitt and Tomic had great tournaments, and are set up beautifully for the year. 

On the Men's side of the tournament, have to say, I'm disappointed Federer didn't make the Final. Although the rivalry the top three players have is  fascinating -- Nadal has an ominous record against Federer; who has an excellent record against Djokovic. Though Nadal leads the head-to-head, Djokovic has beaten Nadal the last 6 times they played; including both the Wimbledon & US Open Finals last year.

In that light, the final is shaping to be a classic.  I also have to say, and surprisingly to me, I'm really enjoying Hewitt in the commentary box, he's a got a great understanding of the players, the game and its history. 

To finish with a brief aside, the Black Caps had there biggest ever test win today!  I'm not sure how many times, one team has lost 20 wickets in one day's play??

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