Archive for the ‘Australian Open’ Category
Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na were hardly short-priced favourites to win their respective singles titles at the recent 2014 Australian Open in Melbourne, but win the titles they did, in what can only be considered a surprise result for most tennis fans, the top two seeds in the respective men’s and women’s events were the clear favourites coming into the tournament, with top seed Rafael Nadal and the second-seeded Novak Djokovic hogging all the headlines on the men’s side and Serena Williams (No.1) and Victoria Azarenka (No.2) the women’s, Li was already a previous Grand Slam champion (French Open 2011), so although her title run was unexpected, she was among the favoured contenders of the women outside the big two, Wawrinka’s title run however was totally unexpected and a refreshing shock right from the crisp clean air of the Swiss Alps itself.
Li wrote her own great story in Melbourne, after facing match point and elimination against the 26th seeded Czech Lucie Safarova in the third round, Madame Li then built strong momentum from the fourth round onwards to reach yet another Grand Slam final, after a nervous first set against shock first-time Grand Slam finalist Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia, Li took control of the title match and deservedly secured her 2nd Grand Slam title in the last three years, the fact that neither Serena or Vika was in the championship decider was the biggest surprise of all though.
As much as China will be celebrating Li Na’s victory once ag more »
All tennis fans are used to a certain Swiss player making the finals of the major events over the past decade or so, but the name of that player is of course the 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, not his compatriot and current world No.8 Stanislas Wawrinka, Stan the man continued his impressive run in Melbourne by ousting Czech Tomas Berdych in four sets in their Australian Open semi-final clash, the 28 year old native from Lausanne in Switzerland will now compete in his first ever Grand Slam final on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night.
Wawrinka has now cemented himself among the elite players in the world of tennis, with his exciting brand of tennis proving popular with the Melbourne faithful, he will now face one of the game’s greats in the championship decider on Sunday, but which of those two great players out of Federer and Rafael Nadal is yet to be determined, Stan will probably be secretly hoping it’s Roger that he faces in the first major title of 2014, because it will give him the chance to not only play his friend and fellow countryman, but also step out of Federer’s shadow and claim some Grand Slam glory of his own.
Wawrinka has already beaten tournament favourite and top seed Novak Djokovic along with Berdych who was also seeded above him, for Stan to win the title on Sunday, he will have to beat a third consecutive player seeded above him in these championships, it would cap off a remarkable month for Wawrinka if he was to achieve victory in more »
The 2014 Australian Open continues into week two and some of the bigger names in the men’s and women’s singles championship continue to fall out of contention in Melbourne, in the women’s championship the first of the main seeded players to be ousted was the 7th seeded Italian Sara Errani who lost in straight sets to Germany’s Julia Goerges on day one, that upset was then followed immediately by another on Margaret Court Arena when the 6th seed Petra Kvitova went down to Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum in three sets, 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki was the next women to be toppled in round three by the rising Spanish youngster Garbine Muguruza, but bigger names in the women’s draw were yet to fall in the round of sixteen.
The fourth round of the women’s championship saw the tournament turned on it’s head when the overwhelming favourite, Serena Williams, was beaten in three sets by Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, earlier the 9th seeded Angelique Kerber had gone down to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in a tight three-setter too, there was more fourth round carnage to follow though when the 3rd seed Maria Sharapova fell to Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova in three sets, heading into the women’s quarter-finals only three of the top 10 women’s seeds remain, being defending champion Victoria Azarenka (No.2 seed), Li Na (No.4 seed) and Agnieszka Radwanska (No.5 seed).
In the men’s championship, the 5th seed Juan Martin Del Potro was the first big men’s casualty in week one with the tall Argentine more »
The 2014 Australian Open is now only days away and the majority of tennis pundits seem to be predicting that the respective men’s and women’s champion this year will come from either of the top two seeded players for the tournament, world No.1 Rafael Nadal and defending champion and world No.2 Novak Djokovic are the main names on most people’s lips when discussing the men’s AO champ for 2014, likewise on the women’s side of the draw also, with dominant world No.1 Serena Williams and defending champion and world no.2 Victoria Azarenka the preferred names when discussing a women’s champion, I’m sure those of us who follow tennis closely would probably agree that the top two seeded players in the respective men’s and women’s singles championships will start as favourites on Monday for the 2014 Australian Open.
So, according to the majority of us, it’s either Nadal or Djokovic in the men, and either Williams or Azarenka from among the women, but often the most fun and exciting part of any Grand Slam draw is trying to pick out and predict upsets, will anybody be able to stop the top two seeds from dominating yet another Grand Slam in Melbourne? And if so who would be the most likely contenders? The usual threats to Rafa and Nole on the men’s side are the three other former Grand Slam champions in the field, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro, while the likes of previous Grand Slam finalists David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can’t be more »
Although the 2013 Australian Open men’s singles final was nowhere near a classic, I can’t help thinking that we are about to see Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray dominate the hard court season on the ATP World Tour in 2013, both players have similar styles of play which are ideally suited to the rigours of hard court tennis, only an injury or major loss of form and/or confidence appears likely to stop their charge this season, therefore, I believe, tennis fans can expect the duo to continue being the main contenders throughout the hard court season this year.
The final at Melbourne Park never really reached any great heights although there were some breathtaking rallies from time to time, Djokovic secured his place in history by defeating Murray in four sets and becoming the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles, the 25 year old Serb has now accumulated six Grand Slam titles in his career with four of those coming on his favourite hard court inside Rod Laver Arena, for a while it seemed that Andy might create a piece of history himself by becoming the first man to win his maiden Grand Slam title and then follow it up with another straight after but it was not to be for the Dunblane native.
The speed and power both men possess from the baseline will be difficult for opponents to match on hard courts this year especially in the bigger events, it will be interesting to see which players rise to the challenge and take the hard hitting more »