Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
04:38 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Tennis
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Nadal beats Federer in Open thriller
Agence France Presse
Nadal celebrates his victory against Federer. (AFP/Joe Castro)
Nadal celebrates his victory against Federer. (AFP/Joe Castro)
A+ A-

MELBOURNE: Rafael Nadal once again proved Roger Federer’s grand slam nemesis Thursday, withstanding a withering opening from the Swiss great to reach the final of the Australian Open.

The Spaniard won 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to prolong the agony for his greatest rival, who has now lost eight times to the Spaniard in 10 grand slam meetings and has not beaten him in the majors since Wimbledon 2007.

The Swiss 16-time grand slam winner was left a weeping wreck when Nadal remorselessly ground him down in 2009’s nail-biting five-set final in Melbourne but failed in his bid for revenge on Rod Laver Arena.

“For me it’s a dream to be back in the final,” said a smiling Nadal.

“It’s a real honor to play against Roger, it was a fantastic match. It’s fantastic to have one player in front of you who doesn’t make mistakes, having a totally complete game.”

Nadal, who has won 10 grand slams, now goes on to meet either defending champion Novak Djokovic or Britain’s Andy Murray in Sunday’s final.

Federer produced flawless tennis at the start of the match but his game unraveled when put under pressure by Nadal and he finished with 63 unforced errors.

Unleashing his full arsenal, four-time Australian Open champion Federer held serve to love and broke the Spaniard at his first opportunity with a devastating cross-court backhand with Nadal struggling to gain a foothold.

Nadal broke back but third seed Federer raised his game again after his mid-set wobble and he took the tie-break when Nadal went long.

The players swapped service breaks at the start of the second set but the turning point came when Nadal held off a Federer break point in the fifth game and then broke the Swiss in the very next game to move ahead 4-2.

The match was suspended for 10 minutes for Australia Day fireworks with Nadal leading 5-2 and when play resumed Federer lost his focus, losing 11 consecutive points on top of straight three points he lost before the break.

Nadal, 25, leveled the match at one set apiece, took the first game of set three to love and held three break points after two consecutive Federer double faults, only for the misfiring Swiss to claw himself out of the hole.

Federer, 30, battled hard to break Nadal in game seven of the third set but the Spaniard broke back immediately to level things up and Nadal went on to take the tie-break on his sixth set point.

A tense fourth set went with serve with Nadal looking mentally the stronger, continuing to chase down balls from seemingly impossible situations.

He saved a break point from Federer in the eighth game and broke the Swiss in the following game.

But the Spaniard still had to fight hard to serve out for victory, saving two Federer break points, including an astonishing retrieval onto the baseline which the Swiss then wafted wide.

Federer, seeking his first grand slam win in two years, had not dropped a set until Thursday’s semifinal but Nadal, who now leads their overall series 18-9, once again proved he has the edge over Federer on the biggest stage.

The match was the 10th grand slam encounter between Nadal and Federer, putting them equal with Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe for most matches played at majors.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 27, 2012, on page 15.
Home Tennis
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS