These are our top five moments from the 2013 Australian Open as chosen by you, in no particular order. Feel free to comment your favourite… or anything else! And the nominations are…
Djokovic V Wawrinka: Five Sets in Five Hours
In round four, the Serbian played Switzerland’s second player, and Federer’s doubles partner, Stanislas Wawrinka. Both elite players were evenly matched after five sets, and Djokovic said that he was “sad one of us had to lose.” Taking five hours in total, it was a large group of moments, but still a great recommendation. Thanks!
— Richard Waterhouse (@RichW1995) February 2, 2013
Stanislas began on fire with smashing Djokovic 6-1 in the first set. With Djokovic looking as though he wasn’t ready for the challenge, as he often netted the ball and some lazy shots that found themselves closer to the crowd than the actual court. . However, the Serb always does improve as he progresses through the match , and he came back to life in the second, and powered to lead 5-2. Yet, Wawrinka looked like he could win another when he stole three straight games making it 5-5. But the momentum swung back to the Serbian and he held serve, and then broke Wawrinka to finish it off and draw level at 1-6, 7-5.
From this point the see-saw of the beginning sets began to even out, as Djokovic’s one break lead him to winning the set 6-4. After the end of the second set, which ended off quite mutually, this trend continued throughout the third with both players playing top-class in great form. But they both held out all the way up to 6-6. Therefore, we went to the first tie-break of the match where Wawrinka surprisingly came out on top, leading 6-3, even though Djokovic came back to 6-5 with two unstoppable forehands, but the Swiss second in command held serve to draw level; 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 and we have a fifth set.
The final set was an extremely good watch, even though it was as much a question of stamina as of skill. They both held serve, then Wawrinka sparked up and broke. But, then he tired again and played some errors and Djokovic evened it up again. There would be no more break after that until the 16-point final game, when Wawrinka fought off two match points, the first with a 200km/h ace and the second with an incredible backhand down the line when it looked like he was barely moving. Wawrinka looked like he could win the final point as well when he forced Djokovic to stab back two backhands, but after he hit a low slice approach shot, Djokovic somehow scooped it up and flipped a backhand cross-court pass to win the contest.
Murray Beating Federer for the First Time in a Grand Slam
Suggested by the one other person that runs this blog, the Briton showed us all what he’s capable of in beating the world No.2 for the first time in a Grand Slam – although personally I don’t think it was a major breakthrough for the Brit considering he’d already beaten him in the Olympic final!
@tpftennis Definitely Andy’s win over Federer, which was the his first GS win over Roger! It’s a shame he couldn’t top it off in the final.
— Nathan Morley (@NMtherams) February 1, 2013
Since we’ve already written a full match review from this semi-final (with highlights). We’ve just put a link to it here.
Murray Leading Djokovic in First Set of the Final
This was a suggestion from one of our top contributors on Twitter, it was a fantastic time for everyone though. Knowing that the Brit had won the first set and in all their previous matches the winner of the first set had gone on to win the match. However it all turned out to be a #falsedawn.
— Hilary McGowan (@HilaryMcGowan) February 1, 2013
Andy Murray had just come from beating Roger Federer for the first time in a Grand Slam, and Djokovic from beating fourth seeded David Ferrer where he only lost five games and won eighteen; so they were both raring to go in the Grand Slam final. It all began tightly in the final, with both Andy and Novak powering through tremendous forehand, backhand rallies. They both persistently held serve. There was a little blip at 3-2 where Djokovic had a few break points, but Murray recovered and held serve, to make it 3-3, on his first game point. The Serb remained a little stronger but still they served it out to a tie-break. That turned-the-tables though, as Djokovic continually netted the ball, as he seemed quite tired and Murray quickly despatched the tie-break 7-2. But, the break was just what Novak needed and he came back firing on all cylinders, to win the match. Read the full match report here.
Young British Women Continue Progress
It’s a good time for the women’s game in Britain at the moment, with two fantastic young talents emerging and coming to prominence – giving plenty of hope and pride for the players developing through Britain at the moment.
Firstly let’s start with Laura Robson, a recently turned 19-year old. In the last grand slam of 2012, the US Open, she propelled into the fourth round with some stunning victories, including wins over Kim Clijsters and Li Na. Despite not making the fourth round in the Australian Open she still had an impressive tournament, making more progress. the first round was a doddle, she eased past Melanie Oudin in straight sets.
However, it was the second round that got more people taking about the Olympic mixed doubles silver medalist. The draw handed the Brit a tie with a very tough match – world number 8 Petra Kvitova, who last year reached the semi-finals on this event. It was a 3 hour long match, which Robson won 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 after coming from a set behind and coming through an endurance testing final set. This victory wasn no ordinary one, Robson had beat the 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on the grand slam courts of Melbourne, where Laura was ironically born. Dissapointingly she fell at thr third round stage, with Sloane Stephens taking advantage of the youngster’s shoulder, which received medical treatment. After the conclusion of the year’s first slam, the WTA rankings put Robson as number 43 – her highest ranking to date.
Heather Watson also competed at the Australian Open. A 2–6 6–3 6–2 victory against the Romanian Alexandra Cadanțu booked the 20 year-old a deserved spot in the second round. Ksenia Pervak also fell victim to Watson’s growing dominance on court with a 4–6 7–6 (9–7) 6–2 win, which booked her a place in the third round – for just the second time in a grand slam. As a result, she was handed a very tough opponent to beat – world number 4 Agnieszka Radwanska. Despite losing 3–6 1–6 to Radwanska, her impressive run saw her ranking rise to a career best of 40.
Serena Smashes Her Title Hopes to Pieces
In the women’s quarter-final third-seeded Serena Williams faced fellow American Sloane Stephens. The 29th seed had had a good run in the tournament already, having beaten Brit Laura Robson (who beat world no.8 Petra Kvitova in the previous round) in straight sets. However, no-one expected her to be able to up-turn Serena. Sloane played better overall – even though many blame Serena’s second set back injury – with good forehands consistently and at the end of the day she looked like she was trying harder.
But more was to come, as the usually cool no.1 American lost her temper in what was quite a funny tantrum!