Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rafael Nadal outlasts Fernando Verdasco

Fernando VerdascoRafael Nadal hung around long enough to beat Fernando Verdasco who played some unbelievable tennis and would have been a deserving winner. Instead we get the marquee final we all believe we deserve. Jet Boy vs Club Fed in a Wimbledon rematch.

Verdasco battled Nadal in the longest match yet in Melbourne and threw everything at his countryman. He refused to be intimidated and when faced with and all or nothing fourth set tiebreak hit awesome winners to simply destroy Nadal. The Australian Open often throws up unlikely breakthrough players who either disappear again or go on to become fan favourites and champions and you can argue whether this is due to scheduling or conditioning but Fernando Verdasco had had an incredible week which seems to be part of a natural progression for him. It’s not hard to see him belonging at the pointy end of the game. We don’t want to talk about the final game double-faults.

Roger Federer had the easy semi-final – although Roddick would only be easy for him and must start favourite against the marathon playing and into-his-first-Aus-final Nadal. Love to think Roger was just sitting back watching on his TV eating popcorn and musing “five hours – yeah!” (Mirka, get me some more popcorn, please), although apparently the greatest player known to man was stuck somewhere in Melbourne without power. Note: can we blame everything that goes wrong in Melbourne on the heat?

Apparently there was some doubles final played today too.

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