Archive for February, 2009

 

Rafael Nadal : Champion

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

The final of the Australian Open – Rodger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal – finished just hours ago, and the tennis world is still revelling in its grandeur. Great finals in the Grand Slams are always expected, (particularly after the Wimbledon final 2008), and today’s Australian Open’s final certainly did its job at keeping the crowds captivated. The end result: once again Rafael Nadal has come out victorious against his greatest opponent. The match was electrifying to watch, but what more do we expect from these two rivals?

This year’s Aussie Open final was played out in five sets of intense tennis, brilliant from both sides. Both Rodger and Rafa were a little nervous at  more »

 

Rafael Nadal – the Raging Bull from Majorca

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

The Final is already underway, but there’s still time to have a look at the two titans who have come together today to try and gain the Australian Open title. Who do I put my money on? Rafael Nadal. ‘Of course you would’ I can’t help but say to myself; I am a self-confessed Rafa fan after all. The Spanish player caught my attention in the 2007 Wimbledon final. I found him such a contrast to Federer’s neat, effortless quality. With Nadal, there is a rawness that challenges his opponent to dare get in his way. Whereas Federer hides his power to a certain extent, Nadal wears his on his sleeve; to watch Nadal play increases the blood pressure, and when you hear of blistering backhand getting into some far unreachable corner to win the game, you know it was the world number one in action.

There are a number of elements as to why I enjoy watching Nadal’s game, which I think could also stand him in good stead this afternoon. Besides the raw power and barely contained energy, there are the skill of his strokes. In particular, his back hand. My own love of his double-handed backhand may just be simple ‘backhand envy’ – my own backhand shots go horrifically haywire and are woefully inaccurate. But as anyone who has watched Nadal will know, backhands are his specialit more »

 

Double The Excitement

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Corny title, I know, but the doubles tournament for this Australian Open has been an exciting one. Both the men’s and women’s finals were an interesting affair; the Bryan twins won their third Australian Open title, their final set a testimony to their talent as they won all of the last six games. With a style and flair so often associated with the Bryan brothers, the duo regained their position as world number one when they qualified for the final this year.

 Doubles match are delightfully exhausting to watch, with a fast pace and the power of four players barely contained inside the court. The finals match was no exception. Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles (No. 3 pair) started out well against the Bryan brothers, their serve and accuracy helping them to steamroll the first set in 27 minutes. But the Bryan duo’s dynamic game soon emerged from the rocky start, and took the next two sets to finally triumph.

There was another siblings double pair who were on fire in the final round; Serena and Venus Williams won their eighth Grand Slam doubles title when they beat Daniela Hant more »

 

Clash Of The Titans!

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

And so the match up that everone has been hoping for – Federer vs. Nadal – has eventuated. The first meeting of these two men on the hard courts of Melbourne. There appears to be no clear favourite with supporters of both camps putting forward a strong case for why their man can win.

For me, I think it’s going to be Federer.

I think one of the key factors that is going to determine whether Federer wins this match is going to be how well he plays his angled ground strokes. Like no other player, possibly in history, Federer has an amzing ability to create angles from the baseline that are seemingly impossible – and are almost impossible to chase down, even for Rafa.

If you watch Nadal in a baseline rally you will see him stand back from the baseline a little until he feels in control of the point. From there he steps up and hits those booming shots deep which forces his opponent out of position and wins him the bulk of his points.

Federer’s use of angles is going to be an important factor in him winning this match. It will force Nadal to try and take control earlier in the point than he otherwise would, from positions where he is not fully in control of the point the way he would like to be. This will lead to openings that Federer can exploit.

I think another key factor will be Federer moving in to the net to finish points earlier than any other player does. One of Nadal’s weapons is his tenacity – he gets more balls back in to play than any other player. But more »

 
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