Friday, January 25, 2013
And the finals are set
For Federer fans it wasn't the result we were hoping for. It appeared to be a 50-50 match going into it, with reasons to believe either one could pull it off. It was obvious from the beginning, however, that Murray was very much on his game, pushing Federer in each of his service games, not aided whatsoever by Federer's serve numbers being very low. It seemed pretty much at all times during the match that Roger was playing from behind and really only for brief moments was he really able to play his game, coming up with flashes of brilliance when he really needed it. I have to give all credit to Murray. He, like Djokovic, has an amazing combination of offense and incredible defense, getting back shots that seem impossible.
I had already resigned myself to a Federer loss when he was broken back in the 4th set and then broken again, so when he surprisingly pulled off a great comeback to win the set in a tiebreak I still wasn't real surprised when he quickly fell behind once again in the 5th set. It reminded me of the 2010 U.S. Open semi when he had been pushed hard by Djokovic, with Nadal already waiting in the final. As that match went on in the 5th set I was getting nervous wondering how much energy he would have left for a final. That was very much in my mind watching this today. He had never before played two five set matches in a row. How could he possibly have anything left, at 31 years of age, to challenge a well rested Novak, who only had to play 89 minutes in his ridiculous win over Ferrer? So when Roger quickly got in a hole in the 5th set I wasn't extremely disappointed. He showed great heart and resolve to push a very on form Andy Murray to a 5th set. And to be honest, his win at Wimbledon, claiming another major after a two year drought, did much to calm me down in these situations (well, as long as he keeps his quarter final record going that is!).
So we will be having another Djokovic Murray final. I am hoping that Murray's five set match won't play into things, but that this match will be one that really shows who the best is at this moment. With a much more confident Murray this could be a real interesting one.
On a side note, Federer had a few choice words for Andy at a particularly tense time of the match. Personally I wish he would try to refrain from lowering himself to that level. I happen to like the squeaky clean Roger image, which is one of the things that makes me such a fan.
On the women's side of things, the final between Li Na, who played a brilliant match to soundly defeat Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka is being clouded by the great controversy of Vika's actions at 5-4 in the 2nd set semi against Sloane Stephens, choosing to take a 10 minute medical timeout before Sloane had to serve to stay in the match. Definitely bad taste. She has tried to smooth things over, but I think for most fans they would much prefer to see a new champion in Li Na this year. I am real interested to see how this all goes down. I hope it is a competitive match, as there have been some real duds in the women's major finals, including last year's Australian Open.
After almost two weeks of little sleep, we now know our finalists. A couple exciting matches to go before the new king and queen are crowned. Though my favorite will not be holding the trophy, in terms of tennis we still should be in for some great tennis to come.