By far, Day 11 of the Australian Open, has been the best when it comes to the quality of tennis, the drama, the upsets, it had it all. A day, when I was glued to the tv for almost the entire time, which saw history rewritten, unbelievable upsets and some national pride.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi
Of the two semi finals, no doubt this was to be the more closely contested one and it was very much so till the break of serve in the decider. A reunion after almost 10 years, there was plenty of evidence why their partnership is so strong. The on field chemistry is unbelievably good, and it was almost as if they have been playing together for so long. Leander’s serve was always a bit of weakness for the 2nd seeds to exploit and that cost the Indian Express the second set, however, some unbelievable shot making by Mahesh at crucial points in the third set eventually decided their fate to reach the finals. It is a great start to the 2011 season and if we keep the momentum going, Mahesh will have more than one reason to celebrate his wedding next month. They will face the top seed – The Bryan brothers and they will have their hands full.
The number 9 seed has been very consistent coming through the rounds upto the semi final, and she has never gotten beyond this in a grand slam. To compete against the world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki, was asking a lot, but being in the prime of her form helped. She was down a set , staring at defeat at match point, but she clawed her way back to play some unbelievable attacking ground srokes , taking the game to the number 1. The impetus, the momentum, all went her way, and she finished off the match to leave the world number 1 stumbling at the doorstep of a grand slam. A teary eyed Caroline shook Li’s hand, but what Li Na achieved was no lean feat. First Asian woman in the history of the game to ever reach a grand slam final in the singles category, a matter of great pride. Her post match conferences are even more exciting than her games with her funny one liners. When asked Why she struggled in the beginning of the game; she answered with a chuckle “ I did not get much sleep last night; my husband was snoring and I kept waking up every hour 😀
A mother who epitomizes consistency, she has been right on the top of her game all throughout this tournament, and facing the number 2 seed, she just took the game one step ahead. We all know how quickly Kim goes through her points, she was in such an aggressive mode she was hardly giving Zvonareva time to breathe in between points. And she is ecstatic to have reached the final Though she wont move to the top of the world rankings since Caroline reached the semis, for her it is just a number and after being world number 1 once, she doesn’t really care for that. Enjoys playing tennis, and loves to be on court, and that will take her a long way.
2 years ago, he had beaten Federer here in the Aus Open in 3 straight sets; last year, Roger beat him twice. He knew he had his hands full. Having won the tie break for the first set, he was down 2-5 and struggling in the second set, and then thanks to a few astonishing shots and federer’s unforced errors, he won 4 games on the stretch to go ahead 6-5 and eventually win the set. At 2-0 up, still there was hope, for federer to bounce back, but his relentless ground strokes and energy to run all over the court , pulling off some unbelievable net points has brought him to the final of the first grand slam of 2011.
- It’s been a day of unbelievable tennis and a proud day for Asia. Another tournament, and another record broken, hopefully this will do a whole lot of good for Chinese and Asian tennis.
- Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki getting ousted were the major upsets of the day.