Swiss magician Roger Federer treated us to an astounding display of tennis last night, overwhelming world number one Novak Djokovic to reach his eighth Wimbledon final.
It has been years since Federer took to a tennis court with such irresistible skill and intensity. Djokovic, who has been nigh unbeatable over the last several seasons, was made to look decidedly second best.
A victory for Federer in Sunday’s final would hold seismic ramifications for the sport. Roger’s glory days were supposedly behind him, consigned to our memories by the seemingly impenetrable dominance of his younger rivals.
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OK, so having spent half the summer bagging old buggers who don’t know when to quit, let’s give some love to those who continue to ripen on the vine without rotting.
Firstly, Roger Federer. The Swiss master is known as FedEx because he delivers results fast. Last night, the Ex stood for Exhibition, as in exhibition match. There were two tennis players on Rod Laver Arena last night – Federer and Jim Courier, who interviewed him after the game.
Bernard Tomic was apparently also there, but pretty much just as a hitting partner. Oh, he tried. He came with a plan. A plan to blast Federer off the court instead of teasing him with deft touches he’d employed so well against lesser opponents. It was the Malaysia Solution of sporting strategies.
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Rafael Nadal’s shock exit from the Australian Open paves the way for Scot Andy Murray to qualify for another showdown with world No. 1 player Roger Federer.
Murray, who carries the hopes of Great Britain after its lean period of producing class players, lost to Federer in last year’s Melbourne Park final.
Murray is super-hungry for a grand slam. He came close twice – in the 2008 US Open and the 2010 Australian – but suffered defeats to Federer each time.
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It’s the moment Great Britain has been waiting for – one of its own tennis players on the verge of winning a grand slam.
The talented Scot has all the right attributes to win a grand slam. But Murray has one giant problem. Roger Federer ... the world’s No. 1.
There’s a simple reason why Federer will win the Australian Open on Sunday.
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Update: Lleyton lost, again.
Excuse the disturbing imagery, but imagine for a moment Lleyton Hewitt as a burlesque dancer.
Imagine Lleyton as one of those Dita Von Teese types that have lead a popular resurgence for the art in recent years. Emerging out of a large bowl and dressed in emu feathers, Hewitt begins the Australian Open by holding an expectant crowd’s attention with his potential to nude-up with a win.
But year after year the tease is interrupted by a stern order from backstage and Lleyton goes running off, leaving the crowd to go home frustrated and merely fantasize at the potential of what we might have been treated to.
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It was strangely refreshing to hear about Brazilian Marcos Daniel apparently getting into a squabble with a female spectator after his first round loss.
Not because getting in fights with fans is particularly advisable or admirable, but it did at least give us a tennis player we could look at say “that Marcos is one bad cat”. As an average player Marcos Daniel may have done his career a favour as he is now one of the few bad guys on the circuit.
Grand Slam tennis is currently suffering under the burden of there being too many nice guys and gals on the circuit - or at the least players who have perfected the art of looking like nice guys and gals.
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