Has anyone else been watching it lately?
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Has anyone else been watching it lately?
Similar Bodybuilding Threads:
I watched rapha vs his countrymen in the semi finals last night. Joined it midway through the third and it was awesome viewing. I love the fight of the other guy to come back after his calf pains early forth set to only just lose in the fifth. The commentators were all "if i was rapha i would be thinking im unbeatable" Then the other dude started shortening points and hitting those ridiculous winners and ended up taking the forth it was brillant. His tiebreaker in the 4th was ridiculous didnt let rapha even touch a point(kept him to 7-1 :O). Outside of tie breakers tho raphas serve was rarely tested and his ball chase and ability to keep points alive was as entertaining tennis has been for a while.
if rapha can beat federer in less then 48 hours time in the final after a 5 hr and 14 minute game like that his endurance is oustanding and will prove he has the best mental fortitude on the pro tour at the moment.
Yeah same i started watching it during the 3rd set, it was unreal and very close match up i was hoping rapha would win but i didnt wanna stay awake for the next 2 sets.
God knows how long the final 2 sets would of taken to finish lol.
Would be one of the sweetest finals if it came down to Rapha VS Federer
watching everyday at work....federer nadal again...mens tennis is starting to become like womens tennis was a couple years ago...now womens tennis is more interesting and mens you pretty much no who is gunna be in the finals.....toss up...french open id go nadal...wimbeldon id go federer (even though nadal has beaten him on grass)...i have to go with the odds though...this is the 8th time they have meet in a major finals and nadal has a 5-2 advantage so far...i'll go with nadal
Dealing with the hurt
He cried, and it was hard not to cry with him. The sight of Roger Federer’s lower lip trembling would have been enough to start most soft-hearted observers off, but by the time his tears started flowing, a far proportion of the 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena and the millions watching around the world were probably reaching for the tissues too. If that had not done the trick, then the sight of Rafael Nadal, his conqueror, putting his arm around him in friendly consolation, would have set off a worldwide outbreak of sniffles. Australia, perhaps more than any other nation on earth, values mateship, and you will not better embodiment of that than the sight of one great champion comforting another.
Federer did his best not to take the limelight away from Nadal at the moment when Spain had its first Australian Open champion and the winner of a match of enduring quality had just taken his sixth Grand Slam title at the age of just 22, but the Swiss’s was a scene-stealing performance nonetheless. Federer is, as Nadal said in his acceptance speech, one of the greatest players of all-time, but he came second on the night - and that hurt like hell. As Federer said just before the sobs took over, “God, it’s killing me”.
He had played, at times, every bit as well as a 13-time Grand Slam champion might expect to. In the fourth set in particular, his tennis was sublime, but by the time the contest moved into its fifth set and its fifth hour, Federer’s brain appeared to have been fried by the mental pressure Nadal had been exerting on him since the very first ball. “I mean, this is, sure, one of the matches in my career where I feel like I could have or should have won,” said Federer, who repeatedly had break points snatched away from him by Nadal’s remarkable ability to find a first serve or a rasping forehand winner when threatened.
“You can't go through your whole life as a tennis player taking every victory that's out there. You've got to live with those, you know. But they hurt even more so if you're that close, like at Wimbledon or like here at the Australian Open. So that's what's tough about it.”
He did not seem to regret the tears afterwards. Federer is a thoroughly modern man and so would probably not normally be concerned about a public display of emotion, but even he might have preferred it if this one had not been quite as public as it was. “In the first moment you're disappointed, you're shocked, you're sad, you know, then all of a sudden it overwhelms you,” he explained afterwards. “The problem is you can't go in the locker room and just take it easy and take a cold shower. You can't. You know, you're stuck out there. It's the worst feeling. It’s rough.”
He had, by his own admission, played a poor fifth set and was critical of his own serving, but in the end such things are details which will probably be largely lost in time. What cut him to his very core was the knowledge that, for the fifth time in his career, he had been denied a Grand Slam victory by Nadal, and so missed out on the chance to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major titles. Nadal’s first thought when he had accepted the trophy was to reassure Federer that he believes the Swiss will match and then pass that historic marker before his career is out. “Rog, sorry for today,” said Nadal, turning to his friend with genuine compassion in his voice. “I really know how you feel right now. Remember that you are a great champion and you are one of the best in history and you will beat Pete Sampras’ 14 titles for sure.”
Federer mustered a weak smile and nodded his appreciation, but the pain was still there on his face. It wasn’t long before the tears began to roll again.
No.1 for No.1
World No.1 Rafael Nadal has confirmed his place at the pinnacle of men’s tennis following a classic five-set victory over world No. 2 Roger Federer in the Australian Open 2009 final.
It was a battle worthy of a major final, and the world’s top two players put on a memorable performance before the Spaniard triumphed 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2 after four hours and 23 minutes on court.
It is the third time in the last four Grand Slam events that Nadal and Federer have played the championship match, and again it was Nadal who emerged superior, winning his first Australian Open title.
“[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,” Nadal said.
“Very happy for the title. Today was really lot of emotions on court. I was there with the best player I ever saw.”
The men’s final had not extended to five sets since the first year the tournament was played at Melbourne Park, when Mats Wilander defeated Pat Cash in the 1988 decider.
Despite vastly greater experience playing in the latter stages of this tournament, Federer began nervously, throwing in a double-fault and shanking two backhands to be broken immediately.
He quickly erased Nadal’s advantage in the next game, winning a torrid battle that featured several game and break points before tying scores at 1-1.
The two men seemed to settle into the contest from that point, trading service holds. This changed in the sixth game, however, when Federer cranked up his game and broke serve following two forehand winners, moving ahead 4-2.
Nadal returned the favour in the next game, playing two spectacular running winners to bring up break point before a Federer double fault got the match back on serve.
Games went on serve until the 11th game, in which Nadal produced a deft drop shot winner and forehand pass to go up 6-5. He served out the set in the next game after nearly an hour of play.
Games comfortably progressed on serve early in the second set until Federer had a chance to break in the fourth game. He would rue being unable to convert this opportunity – the Spaniard held serve and then subsequently broke thanks to a series of cracking backhand winners.
But instead of carrying on with his momentum, Nadal folded, gifting Federer the break back with a double fault and an error.
Federer lifted his intensity and found the range on his groundstrokes, winning four straight games to tie proceedings at a set apiece. The decisive break came in the eighth game, in which both players displayed superb shot-making before Federer finally converted his fifth break point.
Despite now being in the driver’s seat and winning the second set relatively comfortably, things weren’t all going the Swiss champion’s way. He was wasteful in converting break points, and his first serve percentage was languishing below 50 per cent.
The latter statistic was exposed when he found himself in trouble on serve in the sixth game of the third set. Despite facing break point, he hit out bravely from the baseline to level scores at 3-3.
The former was on show in the ninth and 11th games. Federer played sublime tennis to conjure up bundles of break points – six in all across the two games – but was unable to convert any.
It was Federer’s set to win, and his inability to take advantage of his chances would cost him dearly. The fact that Nadal twice had treatment for a cramping thigh during the set further highlighted a missed opportunity.
The set progressed to a tiebreak, with the Spaniard reaching three set points after playing a lovely angled volley to end a breathtaking point. He duly converted on his first to take a two-sets-to-one lead.
Holding in the opening game of the fourth, Federer took the upper hand by breaking in the next to lead 2-0. Nadal was not discouraged, breaking back immediately to put the pressure right back on his illustrious opponent.
But the effects of the Spaniard’s five-set marathon against Fernando Verdasco in Friday night’s semifinal became visible. Federer noticed his opponent fatiguing, and in what would turn out to be an epic fifth game, he tested Nadal’s movement with several sneaky drop shots.
Nadal said he had difficulty recovering physically after the semifinal.
“I end the match against Verdasco with the leg – right leg – the quadriceps and hamstring very tight. In the third set, started to pushing. No cramping, but was scary,” he said.
Nadal struggled to chase the drop shots down, but still managed to bring up five break points in a game that featured scintillating baseline rallies with all areas of the court utilised, and a whopping seven deuces. Like Federer earlier in the match, Nadal could not convert, allowing the Swiss to level at 3-3.
It proved a telling service hold – Federer went on to win the next three games against his increasingly-deflated opponent to take the match into a fifth set.
But where you thought the No. 2 seed would use this momentum to stamp his authority on the match, Nadal mustered incredible mental and physical energy to gain a break in the fourth game.
Federer’s game soon descended into a mass of errors as Nadal continued to surge ahead.
Serving at 2-5 down, Federer committed an error and a double-fault to find himself in a precarious position. Another error two points later brought up championship points for the Spaniard, which Federer saved after some tense rallying.
This merely delayed the inevitable, as Nadal clinched the title on his third match point after another error from the Swiss.
He collapsed to the court on his back, exhausted yet elated to capture his first major championship on hardcourt.
The top seed said that fatigue following the Verdasco match left him struggling in practice leading up to the final.
“But I spoke with the coach, before the match, with Toni. He told me, anyway, you go there and fight all the time and believe in the victory all the time. I think that's what I did in the end. [It] was good,” he said.
Federer, meanwhile, was disappointed yet philosophical after being beaten.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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
The New KingQuote
Rafael Nadal accepted his Australian Open trophy from the legendary Rod Laver on Sunday night – and is well on the way to becoming a giant of the game himself.
He won the Australian Open, becoming the first Spaniard to do so. He joined an elite group of just 12 men who have managed to win three Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces since the Open Era began.
He took his tally of major titles to six and his record of Grand Slam final appearances to eight – and all of that achieved in just 20 visits to the four major championships. In the Open Era, only Bjorn Borg has been more clinical in collecting the important trophies (he won six Grand Slam titles in only 18 attempts).
But all this was as nothing compared to Rafael Nadal's most startling achievement of the evening. He made his friend cry. He did not mean to do it and he wasn't quite sure what to do when it happened, but the new Australian Open champion had broken Roger Federer's heart.
Nadal had somehow conjured up the heart and the physical puff to go toe to toe with Federer for four hours and 23 minutes and then, with the clock standing at 12.14am, Nadal won 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2 and was crowned as the new king of Melbourne Park.
How he had managed to do it was beyond anyone's comprehension. Less than 48 hours earlier, he had staggered off court at well after 1am at the end of a five hour 14 minute epic with Fernando Verdasco. At the very same time, Federer had been sound asleep after getting an extra day off. Yet here was Nadal again, winning the battle of the muscles, the tactics and, most crucially of all, the nerves to beat Federer again, his 13th victory in 19 meetings and his fifth victory over the Swiss in seven meetings in Grand Slam finals.
To be fair to Nadal, it was not entirely his fault that Federer burst into tears during the presentation ceremony. This year is the 40th anniversary of Rod Laver's second Grand Slam, and the ‘Rockhampton Rocket’ was at Melbourne Park to present the prizes.
Standing alongside the great man were the four men he beat in the four major finals that year – Andreas Gimeno, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Tony Roche. A bigger collection of legends you could not hope to find late on a Sunday night, and the fact that Federer wanted so dearly to be one of them, to win that magical 14th Grand Slam title and match Pete Sampras' record, was his emotional undoing.
But as Federer sobbed and gulped and tried to control himself, 15,000 spectators stood and applauded. It was 15,001, to be precise, as Nadal joined in with the ovation and bit his lip nervously.
When his moment came to step forward to the podium, he looked almost sheepish. Federer patted him on the shoulder as he passed and Nadal, in turn, took the trophy quietly, held it aloft very briefly, and then went to put his arm around his pal and console him.
"I'm sorry for today," he said to Federer as he accepted his AUD$2 million winner's cheque. "I really know how you feel. But remember – you are one of the best players of the history and you are going to improve the 14 of Sampras. It is always a pleasure to play you and best of luck for the rest of the year."
Such kindness from his conqueror almost set Federer off again, but as his lower lip quivered, the significance of the evening's events began to sink in. Federer will need all the luck he can get if he is to get to grips with the challenge of Nadal.
On paper, this was one of the best chances Federer would have to beat Nadal – the Spaniard ought to have been tired, he ought to have been on the back foot on the hardcourt surface, and he ought to have been tense in his first Australian Open final. But there was not a bit of it.
If Federer had hoped that Nadal's tank would run dry after such an energy-sapping semifinal, he was to be sorely disappointed – the Spaniard can run on fumes if necessary, and the thought of a fifth set appeared to hold no fears for him. As for his nerves, they are armour-plated, while his mind is reinforced with steel. It was Federer who was overcome by the enormity of the moment while Nadal simply put his head down and forced his way to the finish.
When Nadal first started chasing Federer around the Grand Slam circuit, the Swiss was happy to concede the French Open to his young rival. But in the past three years, Nadal has proved himself to be the unstoppable force on clay, on grass and now on a hardcourt. Federer has nowhere left to hide.
"To have the trophy presented to me by a legend like Rod Laver is a dream for me," Nadal said. The legends had come to see Federer become one of their number but, instead, they stayed to applaud Nadal. With only the US Open left to conquer, it will not be long before Nadal becomes a legend himself. And that really will make Federer cry.
Federer is a big baby. He can't handle losing. This is the second time I've seen him cry after losing a match.
Watched the final and parts of the two semi's. Nadal seemed to dominate for sections and have all the answers, even when he should have been dead on his feet. Federer tried to tire him out and had brilliance, but lacked that energy around the court. Compared to how he anihilated Andy Roddick it is clear Federer doesn't have a plan or mental dominance over Nadal.