Monday, January 30, 2012

Pushing your limits

I watched the Australian Open Men's Final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal and it was everything a final should be: A test of will, a test of skill, a test of focus and a test of human limits. In the end the match took almost six hours and each second was hard-fought (outside of change of ends).

No, they are not bowing to the head of Kia Motors

Having seen the match that Nadal played against Tomas Berdych leading to the match with Federer, I would have said that he was the man to beat in this tournament. I don't think I've seen anyone hit the ball that hard, that consistently and that much on the line. Nadal has finally learned how to hit a ball (that isn't looped) ... but I digress.

In comparison to Nadal's run, I think Djokovic had it a bit easier with less pressure leading to the final - it could have made the difference. When it comes to 5+ hours of running and pounding shots into the corners, having that little extra in the tank might have made the difference when it came to the final set - Nadal had finally run out of steam.

The final set was a sea of breaks and break-backs, with Djokovic getting the final break from a 30-15 scoreline. Serving for the match, he had pressure on his serve with a 30-40 break-point, but was able to fight back to win the next three points. Djokovic was the champion although both deserved the prize.

The most humorous / telling moment was the point where both players had to wait for the sea of back-patting antics to sponsors to conclude while their legs spasmed uncontrollably. I must admit I found it funny, but couldn't help admiring them. Considering just a few short minutes earlier they were running full-steam and looking close-to unstoppable, it was amazing to see the pain they were in. It is a testament to all those that saw it that this is a moment you should appreciate - they didn't save anything for the swim back and neither should we.

As an aside, the Women's was apparently between two screeching harpies - I don't know who won, but the only thing I'm sure of is that Women's tennis lost. As always, humour is the best medicine for something that irks ... or a shotgun. Also, I created a facebook page - feel free to lend your support here