Saturday, January 25, 2014

Australian Open

As many of you know I love tennis so I have been following the Australian Open these last two weeks.

I'm definitely a big fan of Roger Federer but when I saw the draw even I figured there was no way he was going to win this. Tsonga then Murray then Nadal then Djokovic!? Not a chance. I'm not even sure the Federer of 2006 could have handled that many top opponents one game after another. Turns out he did a really good job, defeating Tsonga and Murray, while his fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka managed to defeat Djokovic. All Federer now needed to do was defeat Nadal, something he hadn’t managed to do at a Grand Slam since 2007. I was pretty skeptical but still had a glimmer of hope, Federer was playing well and Nadal’s previous matches hadn’t been great. Nadal also had a minor problem with a blister on his serving hand. But it was not to be and Federer lost in straight sets. I knew it was over after Nadal won the tiebreak in the first set. Oh well, an all-Swiss final would have been cool.

Now for the question of the final tomorrow. I'm rooting for Wawrinka and while I definitely think he is the underdog I think many are underestimating him. Many have pointed out that Nadal has a 12-0 record against him and hasn't lost a set but I argue that most of those victories were against the “old” Wawrinka, his form has really improved since the Australian Open last year. He also has the stamina to go to five sets and did a great job defeating Djokovic. I think he has a real chance and I hope he wins. No offense to Nadal fans but I like supporting the underdog and I think the crowd at Melbourne will be as well.

As for the ladies tennis I lost interest once Eugenie Bouchard was eliminated in the semifinals. I was really excited that a Canadian made the semis, and she's only 19! Hopefully she has a great future ahead of her.

Speaking of great results for Canadians, have you seen how Daniel Nestor has been doing in the doubles? After a pretty dismal 2013 season (I think his worst in over a decade) he started the 2014 season by winning Brisbane, then Sydney, then making the semifinals of the Australian Open in Men’s Doubles, and is playing tomorrow in the finals of the Mixed Doubles. What a turnaround, this last month has probably been better than his entire 2013 season. I, of course, will be rooting for him to win tomorrow for his 11th Grand Slam title.

Go Stan and Dan(iel)!

[update: They both won! Congrats to them both.]

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