“It’s not the will to win that makes a winner, it’s the will to prepare.”
What seems to be a frustrating start during Day One & Two (where Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic lost their first round matches against Regina Kulikova and Ekaterina Makarova respectively ), all things have ended very well in the Australian Open Men’s Draw. Novak Djokovic has only dropped a set in seven matches to lift his second Grand Slam trophy right at the center of Rod Laver Arena.
Before reaching the quarterfinals, Djokovic was roughly tested by Ivan Dodig (Croatia) in the second round. Dodig downs Djokovic during the tiebreaker in the second set 7-6 (8). However, things change and the Serbian easily won the succeeding two sets.
His compatriot, Viktor Troicki, decided to retire during the third round and Nicolas Almagro (Spain) was bageled in the third set the following round. Even Tomas Berdych, the Wimbledon 2010 finalist, was shocked during the quarterfinals. In a match where there are long and well-angled rallies, Berdych could not take his game into another level and exited the Slam by just winning eighty total points over Djokovic’s 107.
At last, Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals after getting stuck in the last eight for two consecutive years (2009-2010). At the time of his defense, he lost to Andy Roddick (USA) . The following year with Sergio Tachinni as his new clothing sponsor, he was upset by Jo-Wilfredo Tsonga (France) in five sets. Yet, before reaching a Slam final for the fourth time, the Serbian needs to pass the Tennis Magician. ROGER FEDERER!
The Federer-Djokovic Rivalry is always a fun to watch. There are no secrets with each other’s all-court game. The one and only big difference is: Federer is more aggressive while Djokovic remains far from the baseline when he’s feeling very nervous. I was not sure what happened with Roger Federer during this match. After defeating the Serbian three in a row (Shanghai Masters, Basel, ATP World Tour) after their epic duel in USO 2010, Federer’s shot-making became off and he committed 44 unforced errors all throughout.
With Federer’s out in the loop, two great defensive baseliners remains on the draw (David Ferrer and Andy Murray). Murray showed some brilliant tennis against Ferrer after dropping the first set to advance into the finals.
I thought the Djokovic-Murray Finale was as good as the Djokovic-Nadal in USO three months ago. I was wrong! Djokovic was consistently dominating and Murray had no right answers in it. Djokovic could give Murray a breadstick in the second set but a bit of luck sided with Murray and he broke the Serbian’s serve during the seventh game. The third set ended exactly after an hour after Murray netted a ball in 30-40 and for that, NOVAK DJOKOVIC IS THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2011 CHAMPION in MEN’S SINGLES.
Just an observation: Why the Hopman Cup is always a good luck charm to Novak Djokovic? He always wins Australian Open every time he plays in Perth. Three years ago, Djokovic played with Jelena Jankovic and they also reached the finals (just like what happened last month alongside with Ana Ivanovic) and Nole ended up winning his first Slam.
Are we seeing Nole and Ana in Perth in 2012 to win the Mixed Doubles Finals? Shall I expect Nole and Ana win the Australian Open Men and Women Singles? I know this sounds too much but I want to see how a “miracle tennis player” like Djokovic defends a Slam title.
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Before I forget, Kim Clijsters was the overall champion in Women’s Draw. After double-bageling the former world number one (Dinara Safina) in the first round, Kim needed to rally at her best after dropping the first set to Li Na during the finals (3-6, 6-3, 6-3).
Photos courtesy of: Australian Open