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Nadal Wins Australian Open

  • February 2nd, 2009
  • Posted by Daniel Challis

Rafael Nadal set the seal on the European players’ domination at the men’s Australian Open tennis last night in Melbourne; he became the first of from his own country, Spain, to win the event, over Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

Nadal cemented his place as the world No.1 in men’s competition, defeating again his long-time rival and world No.2 in an epic five-set match…

NUMBER 1 AND 2

It was another classic encounter between the two tennis heavy-weights, who went blow-for-blow in a match similar to last years Wimbeldon final where Nadal eventually triumphed over Federer.

The match went for four hours and 23 minutes, Federer eventually faltering with some tired shot-making in the fifth set to lose: 7-5 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-2.

It is the third time in four Grand Slam matches Nadal and Federer have gone head to head in the final, Nadal again proving himself as the more formidable opponent in the big events.

“[It is] very special for me. Is a dream win here, one Grand Slam on hardcourt. I worked very hard the last, well, all my life for improve the tennis outside courts, well, outside of clay.

“Very happy for the title. Today was really lot of emotions on court. I was there with the best player I ever saw,” Nadal said.

After Nadal had played the longest match in tournament history two nights prior in his semi-final against Fernando Verdasco (5 hours 14 minutes), the 22-year-old showed immense courage to win another 5-setter after only a day’s rest; as oppose to Federer’s two-day-rest before the final.

EMOTIONS RUN HIGH FOR ROGER

Roger Federer broke down in tears last night when trying to express the heartbreak of yet another loss in the final of a Grand Slam.

In an exemplary display of good sportsmanship, Nadal consoled Federer as he was overcome with emotion.

The 27-year-old Swiss was again denied the opportunity to equal American Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles as the resilient Nadal stood in his way.

After the ceremony, Federer was philosophical about his defeat.

“I thought it was a good match [but] I think I had, I guess, many chances. I was up a break in the first twice. Yeah, I mean, I had many chances. I missed them, and they cost me dearly.

“It was a tough match. I don’t think I served particularly well, unfortunately. And I think that was the key to the match in the end,” he said.

QUICK FACTS

For the match, Federer won 174 points to Nadal’s 173.

Nadal served at 64 per cent for the match; Federer’s first serve percentage was just 52.

Federer had 71 winners and 64 unforced errors, while Nadal had 50 winners and 41 unforced errors.

Nadal won 27 points to 16 in the final set, which was the shortest of the match at 34 minutes.

YANKEE LADY

Things had been much different in the women’s camp.

Serena Williams of the United States hastily defeated Russia’s Dinara Safina — 6-0. 6-3.
Reference:

The official Australian Open site, http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/index.html, (02.2.09).

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