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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Novak defeats Rafa in Australian open 2012

January 30, 2012

The Australian open final can't get better and bigger. It will be a clash between world no. 1 and 2. So much at stake. Djokovic has won against Nadal in the last two encounters in final - Wimbledon and US Open. The last time Nadal lost to Djoko, he had stated, "I will have to find a way to beat Djoko."
 
The 1st game commences amidst huge applause from a full house Rod Laver Arena. Nadal finally breaks Djokovic as he takes the first set by 7-5.

Second set commences. Djokovic races to a 4-1 lead but soon finds the advantage receding slowly. Tenacity and aggressive play finds Nadal clawing into the second set as well, as he struggles to close the gap. Finally a winner of 142 km per hour takes Djokovic to set point. A double fault from Nadal seals second set for Djokovic. One set all. Scores are 7-5, 4-6.
 
Third set starts with a very convincing opening game by Djokovic. Nadal survives a scare and eventually holds on to make one game all in the third set.  Third set was as good as a rout in favour of Djokovic. Score stands 5-7,4-6 and 2-6.
 
Fourth set starts as Djoko leads Nadal 2 sets to 1. There is no substitute to pace in the forehand and backhand shots. Not even slices..nor top spins. And that is what Djoko has done in this match. His sheer pace has brought about some errors from Rafa's racket which in other matches otherwise would have not occured. However this pace sometimes made Djoko commit errors especially at times when he looked to find that extra bit in his lethal winners. However Djokovic is known for these winners. Some of these winners were hit so hard that even the agile Nadal struggled to touch the tennis ball. And some of them were hit lazily but with breathtaking elegance. As Djokovic whips his racket left and right, Nadal runs incessantly along the baseline to keep pace with Djoko's barrage of shots. Nadal shows immense fighting spirit to clench the fourth set. 2 sets all and we are all set for a decider.
 
Early into the fifth set and the body language of the world no. 1 has totally changed. He looks diminished, deflated and worn out. While his opponent looks charged up, pumped up and ready to go. Grit, tenacity and determination finds its way and cuts through the solid power play of Djoko. Djoko has an uphill task to accomplish. Becuase the fight that Nadal is launching is not going to be easy to surmount.The pendulum has swung so many times from one side to the other and it swings again. Djoko recovers from a deficit of 2-4 to level the sets to 4 -4. Here we find a new sprint in his movement as he looks determined and strong. 5 hours and 25 minutes into the match and we have the longest rally - 31 shots. Djoko has a limp in his movement and stretches and gasps for breathes. This is where mental strength will play a big role, because the body of both players are tired now.  Djoko finally gets a Championship Point. And he wins through an incredible winner.

What a match we have just witnessed. It was the longest Australian open final in the history of Australian open. And Nadal becomes the first player to lose three continous final grand slam events. It was a ruthless battle which finally had to end with one being the winner. Novak was the winner today. But hats off to Nadal's fighting spirit.

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