Djokovic Bagels Wawrinka to Equal Federer and Edberg for Most Australian Open Finals

Well, it went to five sets as I thought it would but in the end it didn’t meet the expectations. I couldn’t watch the match because the Internet in Thailand was too poor, but looking at the match stats the quality was not what was expected. For both players, the unforced errors by far exceeded the winners. And, of course, Stan faded away in the final set as he got bageled 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 by Djokovic. In a way, I am glad this happened because I would have been even more frustrated with the internet here if it turned out to be another classic. This means the Australian Open, which is my favorite slam these days, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment this year. I’m trying to stay positive, but first Roger lost in the third round, Nadal’s form was poor(not necessarily a bad thing but it kills some of the suspense), neither of the semi-finals was particularly interesting, and now we have a poor match up in the final.

I am trying to believe that the final can be a good match, but since Djokovic and Murray play similar games you have an uninteresting match up. Basically, they just rally from the baseline and run every ball down until someone makes an error or hits a winner. The interesting match ups are always the ones where the opponents have very different games styles, like Roger and Djokovic, Sampras and Agassi, or Borg and Mcenroe. I’m not saying it can’t be a watchable match, and I will watch it myself if my connection allows it. Their 2012 Australian Open semi-final was a good match and their 2012 US Open final went to five sets as well. But it’s not a classic match up. On Sunday Djokovic will, of course, try to win a record fifth Australian Open title which I find kind of exciting by itself. I’m sure that is not the case for most Fedfans, but I think it’s always interesting when a player breaks a big record(unless it’s Nadal).

In fact if Djokovic does it he will have done something that Roger have not done himself, which is to win the most titles at any given slam. Roger is tied for the most slams at three different slams, but he doesn’t hold the record by himself at any of those. And he has come awfully close at holding the record himself at all of them. In Australia, he should have won that final against Nadal in 2009. At Wimbledon, he lost two epic five setters against Nadal and Djokovic. And finally at the US Open he should have won that 2009 final against Del Potro after he was a set and a break up. But if you are Roger you are not gonna complain about having the joint record at three out of the four slams. And maybe he can still get that record by himself at Wimbledon or the US Open which would be the ideal final big achievement. But if Djokovic wins on Sunday he will not hold the record in Melbourne anymore.

Personally I am not too bothered about that but yes I wouldn’t mind if Roger gets the record by himself in London or New York. I think Djokovic is the best player on medium to slow hard court anyway. Roger is the best on hard court overall because he has nine slams on the surface as well as six World Tour Finals titles. I don’t think Djokovic will ever surpass those records but who knows. He still has a long way to go. But I think he will get the record in Melbourne whether this year or not. And let’s face it he deserves it after the way he heroically defeated Nadal in the 2012 final, and in doing so he succeeded in slaying the monster where Roger failed in the 2009 final. I think Murray has a shot tomorrow, but Djokovic is the favorite. Murray has already done well to make the final after a tough year for him, but I think Sunday we will see the emergence of the Australian Open king.

 

Highlights:

Murray Bagels Berdych, Real Final Tomorrow in Melbourne

It didn’t take long for Birdshit to come crashing back to earth after his hyped up win over Nadal, did it? He tried staring down Murray in the first set, but after that it was one-way traffic as he got bageled 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5. So much for the win over Nadal meaning anything. And I for one couldn’t be happier that this one-dimensional ball basher won’t be ruining another slam final like he did in 2010 at Wimbledon. On that occasion, he handed his hero a free slam title so as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t deserve one. He is just too much of a mental weakling. Today he stared Murray down in the first set and after having won it you would expect him to keep the pressure on, but he got bageled in the next set. That just goes to show how little fear Murray has for Birdshit. He was probably laughing inside when Birdshit stared him down. I certainly would.

I’m happy for Murray for making his first slam final since wining Wimbledon in 2013 and going through a slump thanks to an injury. I’m not much of a fan, but you gotta at least respect the way he fought back last year. This win also means he is back in the top four where he probably belongs as he replaces Stan. So the big four still occupies the top four spots after all this time. Tomorrow is, of course, the second semi-final between Djokovic and Stan which for me is the real final. I caught what I could of their respective quarter-final matches and they were both in immense form. Stan was especially impressive in his 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(6) win over Nishikori while Djokovic also straight-setted Raonic 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2. It was just unbelievable ball striking by Stan. Nishikori was playing as well as he could aside from the drop shot he hit at 6-6 in the third set tie-break. But it doesn’t matter because Stan was by far the best player and deserved to win in straight sets.

Birdscat tried staring Murray down

Something I have said since the beginning about Nishikori is that he is too small and lacks power. Since then he has surprised me with how good he became, and I’m sure he will win a slam or slams. But when he faces a massive ball striker like Stan he is vulnerable. Stan overpowered him and there wasn’t much he could do about it. Stan would overpower most players playing like that like he already showed last year when he won the title. But he won’t be able to overpower Djokovic for instance. The difference between Djokovic and Nishikori is that Djokovic has a bigger serve, better returns, and he moves better. So I am looking very much forward to tomorrow’s match which I have already said will be the real final. The way both of them played in their respective quarter-final matches was just on another level than anything Murray can produce, and I expect neither of them to back down tomorrow.

We know about Djokovic’s credentials in these situations, and Stan has been very consistent since the World Tour Finals last year. So there is no reason to believe he won’t continue in that vein. And when he is in this form he is as good as anyone. There should be no doubt that he can defeat Djokovic, but will he? Djokovic is a monster himself so we will just have to see. This is what makes this encounter so exciting for me because I can’t call a clear favorite. We have already seen what classic matches these two can produce. In the last two years, they have already produced three absolute classics, one of them 12-10 in the fifth, the other 6-4 in the fifth, and the last one 9-7 in the fifth. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we get another one like that tomorrow, although you can’t really predict a classic encounter. Whoever wins may have a slight disadvantage in the final if it goes to five sets again because they have less time to recover than Murray.

And Murray proceeded to rub a bagel right into his silly face(tennis needs more of this)

But both Djokovic and Stan have had grueling five-set encounters against each other in Melbourne before and went on to win the title. I think whoever wins here will win the title unless tiredness is a factor. And personally I don’t care who wins. I like both players. I’m sure most Fedfans want Stan to win because he is Swiss and because they don’t want Djokovic to have more Australian Open titles than Roger. I don’t care about that. If Djokovic wins five titles in Melbourne then he deserves it. If he doesn’t do it this year he will probably do it at some other point anyway. Moreover, Roger had a chance to win it himself this year after a run of great form but lost in a very strange match to someone he owned 10-0. Maybe for the final’s sake it would be better if Stan wins because Djokoray matches are pretty boring. I wouldn’t mind seeing Stan defending his title either after struggling so much in the last year.

Should be a cracker!

 

I became an instant Kim Sears fan after this: 

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/andy-murray-vs-tomas-berdych-kim-sears-and-ester-satorova-rated-by-value-of-their-engagement-rings-in-espn-australian-open-coverage-10010738.html

Highlights: 

Birdshit Avoids 18th Straight Loss to Nadal, to Meet Murray in Semi-Final

Well, I guess even the Birdshit can avoid losing 18 straight times. Even for a player of his impressive choking abilities it is one too many to ask. These records are there for a reason and they are not easy to break. That said, Nadal played the worst I have ever seen him play in the first two sets so he wasn’t exactly making it easy for Birdshit to get the record. But that’s OK. To lose 17 straight times is still a highly impressive record and I’m sure once Birdshit retires, that it’s the one he will be most proud of. In all seriousness, Nadal played absolutely woeful tennis in the first two sets. Only in the third set did he start to gain some momentum at which point it was too late, even against Birdshit. Birdshit tried his best to choke away the match again as he wasted a 5-1 lead in the tie-break, but in the end a return from Nadal hit the tape and fell on the wrong side of the net.

Had it gone over Nadal could have won the point and the tournament, so it was probably for the best. Yet I could not help rooting for Nadal. As much as I love seeing Nadal lose I’d rather support a player with balls than a spineless, gutless scrub like Birdshit. I found myself rooting as hard for Nadal as I usually root for Roger, and I was disappointed when his final backhand didn’t make it over the net. But like I said it is probably for the best because if Nadal had won you never know how that could have boosted his confidence. And I said to people who asked me before the match if my opinion of Birdshit would change if he defeated Nadal, it makes no difference whatsoever about my opinion of Birdshit. He remains a mental weakling who only won because Nadal played the worst match of his life probably. Yes, Nadal played better in the third set but if you have lost 17 straight times to a guy already and won the first two sets then it becomes awfully hard to lose again.

The curse of the pink shirt struck again

In the end I can’t complain about the outcome even though I would have loved Birdshit to get the record by himself, because if Nadal won the title then the GOAT debate was close to over as I said before. Nadal would have had the double career slam and you would have liked his chances to catch Roger’s slam count. Not that the chase is over by any means. I find it surprising that people seem to be writing Nadal off yet again after this. Will they never learn? The fact that he made quarter-finals despite playing horribly should be reason enough for concern. I already said in my last post how badly Nadal played against Anderson, so even though I predicted he would defeat Birdshit I should not be surprised by this result. He has been well below his best which is just expected after the string of bad losses he had. And yet if he somehow got through the Birdshit match you never know what could have happened.

He is just extremely dangerous and only a fool would ever write him off. And even though he was disappointed afterward he said he would take a lot of positives from this tournament. And why not? He came off a string of losses and won four matches. I only expect him to get better from here on and still have him winning two slams this year. I would love for him to remain on 14 slams indefinitely as that is the number I always had in my head for him, but I am not so foolish as to assume that is a given. For one thing, he will be the favorite to win the French Open for the 10th time this year. And once he does that he will be back to full confidence again and he could easily win one of the two remaining slams. Or he could finally lose to Djokovic at the French Open in which case he could well be stuck on 14 slams. I would love to be right, but I am not assuming it’s gonna happen.

Future #1?

In the other quarter-final today, it was Murray against Kyrgios which Murray won 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3. It seems Kyrgios struggles with Murray’s game because he also lost their only other meeting last year in Toronto 6-2, 6-2. I watched today and Kyrgios looked frustrated and inhibited by Murray’s changes of pace and ability to push everything back. It’s not pretty, but it is effective. Kyrgios likes pace and for the game to flow and I can see Murray being a problem opponent for him if he isn’t already. Murray now plays Birdshit who is a bit of a problem opponent for him in turn because he trails Birdshit 4-6 in the head-to-head. Birdshit may even make the final, but hopefully Murray doesn’t allow it. In the top half, Djokovic had a straight set win over Muller that was closer than I expected, while Nishikori routined Ferrer. Stan had a tougher time against Garcia-Lopez who was quite impressive, but had no touch at the net which cost him in the end.

The fourth set tie-break was entertaining, but again Garcia-Lopez’s touch at the net deserted him as he hit a terrible half volley on set point for him which gave Stan the easy put-away. Finally, Raonic had a five-set win over Lopez and will now face Djokovic. I expect Djokovic to win, but Raonic is dangerous. I expect Nishikori to defeat Stan too, but it can be very close. I’d like another Djokokori semi-final and I’d like one of those two to win the title. I don’t have any preferences between them, but maybe I want Nishikori to win as I don’t know if I can stand another Djokoray final while Birdshit’s ugly ball bashing game spoils any slam final. For me, the final would be between Djokovic and Nishikori if they meet in the semis. We can’t count Stan out, but I find it hard to believe he will defend his title. Well, tomorrow should be another interesting day in Melbourne. Thank you for your continuing participation in the discussion.

It’s been fun!

 

Highlights: