Roger Federer used to be the undisputed, unbeatable number 1 in tennis until Rafael Nadal came along. However, even as Nadal beat Federer in the French Open every year, Nadal hadn’t broken through in any of the other majors. That all changed when Nadal beat Federer in Wimbledon last year, in one of the most unforgettable tennis matches ever. That defeat seems to have opened the floodgates for Nadal, as he finally broke through in another major, the Australian Open. Naturally, it came against Federer once again.
After needing over five hours to win in the Australian Open semifinals, Nadal only needed a mere four and a half hour to win the Australian Open itself. Nadal and Federer have now played close to 10 hours in their last two Grand Slam final matches, with Nadal sweeping them both.
Nadal took the first major of the year, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. Nadal won his first Australian Open, and became the first Spaniard to ever win in Australia. Nadal now only needs the U.S. Open to complete a career Grand Slam, just like Federer needs the French Open to do the same thing.
Federer was supposed to tie Pete Sampras’s Grand Slam record of 14 titles with a win in the Australian Open. Now, Federer might have to wait until the U.S. Open for a shot, given Nadal’s dominance of the French Open and his newfound dominance at Wimbledon.
In their first major showdown since Wimbledon, Nadal beat Federer in nailbiting first and third sets, while Federer was decisive in the second and fourth. Federer could have taken the third set, but lost six break point chances.
Finally, Nadal broke away for good in the final set, breaking in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead he would not relinquish. Nadal broke Federer again to win the match, sealing the win with a Federer error in the final point.
The other big headline of the night was Federer’s distressed reaction to the loss. In accepting the runner-up trophy, Federer was in tears and told the crowd “This is killing me.”
That might have said it all as Federer continues to lose ground to Nadal as the number one player in the world. Federer has begun to lose more and more as Nadal is finally becoming something other than a clay-court champion.
With Nadal finally winning a major on a hard court, and with his recent success at the French and Wimbledon, talk will now begin of a possible Nadal Grand Slam.
Monsters and Critics- “Federer a tearful wreck after tight loss to Nadal” www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/tennis/article_1457007.php/Federer_a_tearful_wreck_after_tight_loss_to_Nadal__2nd_Lead__
The First Post- “Nadal wins title after another Federer thriller” www.thefirstpost.co.uk/sportspages,1920,nadal-wins-title-after-another-federer-thriller,72782