Australian Open 2014

All credit to the new champion Stanislav Wawrinka – how many can say that they beat Djokovic and Nadal in the same tournament? An unassuming, strong player who remained in the shadows for years, now got his rightful place in the spotlight. Tattooed in the inside of his forearm is a long quote from Samuel Beckett about trying, failing and failing again. Impressive.
But first things first. Hopes were high when I heard that Stefan Edberg had given Roger Federer a crash course in the secrets of the serve and volley technique. A golden-tanned, determined, mature Roger Federer was looking good and when I heard this from the wonderful Vijay Amritraj (how can we forget his delectable backhand drop volleys back in the 80’s?) during the Federer-Murray match – “coming to the net is not just a technique, but an attitude,” I almost believed that our Roger had a new attitude.  Sadly, the technique didn’t work, nor was there a change in attitude against Rafa Nadal in the semi-finals. He was left high and dry at the net, watching the pummelling forehands and devastating double-handed backhands fly past. There were moments of sheer breath-taking beauty – the elegance of the sweeping arc of Federer’s baseline game is worth a few freeze-framed portraits at the National Gallery. But when the tennis ball ricochets in the form of a bullet of Rafa’s contained rage – it was hard to watch.
Little did we know that the man who crushed Federer’s chances of another championship title came to the final with a bad back. The big blister in Nadal’s palm had looked ferocious – but he was barely troubled by that. Its never easy to watch Rafa wilt after having seen him annihilating Roger Federer – but wilt he did and it was hard to watch him slow down and eventually taste the bitterness of Wawrinka lifting the trophy. I’m sure you’ll be back soon Rafa, Roger you’re still the most gorgeous player tennis has ever seen and well done to the new champion.

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2 Comments

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  1. Warwinka may be the champion today but Federer and Nadal – the kings of tennis – are not dethroned as yet…!!

  2. Love the description – bullet of contained rage…

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