This year’s will be very special at the Australian Open as it will be the 100th time the Men’s Singles event will be contested. A total of 59 men have won the title, which begs the question will we once again have a repeat winner as we did with Novak Djokovic or will someone new win the event for the first time, making them Champion No. 60? Continue reading
Tag Archives: Australian Open
Each Grand Slam has its own style and flavor and although this year’s AO lacked the drama of the ’09 U.S. Open, its best moments could be summed up in the well-worn phrase “mind over body.” I say that because a lot of the matches came down to how well players dealt with personal injuries through mental focus. And even if a player wasn’t ailing, some will wish they had had a checkup with a local shrink before stepping onto the Melbourne grounds.
Roger Federer got some mild rebukes for his comments during his last press conference when he said that Great Britain had been waiting “150,000 years” for another Grand Slam champion when it reality it’s only been 74 years. Even if Fed’s math is a little off, he’s spot on when discussing the excruciating pressure Andy Murray faces to not only win a tennis match, but to validate a nation.
Serena Williams and Justine Henin took it down to the wire before Serena’s serve saw her through to her fifth Australian Open singles title with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win that now ties her with Billie Jean King for 12 total Grand Slam titles.
Henin stuck with her new gameplan of more aggressive play especially attacking the Williams’ second serve. But it was Henin’s shaky first serve that probably cost her the match.
Serena served strong in the first set and was able to break Henin at 4-5 when Henin hit two aces and two doubles faults before a backhand volley sailed long for Serena to go up 6-4.
Three years ago, Serena Williams came back from injuries and her own “walkabout” to humiliate then No.1 Maria Sharapova to take the Australian Open title. Now Justine Henin faces a somewhat similar task as she takes on Serena in tomorrow’s final.
The last meeting between them was Miami in 2008 which Serena won in impressive fashion 6-2, 6-0. That defeat, followed by Dinara Safina’s win over Henin in Rome, led to Henin’s surprise retirement before the 2008 French Open. Henin’s return to the Australian Open is somewhat surprising considering many still have not truly understood (or forgiven) her bizarre retirement in the 2006 final to Amelie Mauresmo when Henin complained of a stomach ailment.
Henin’s return has been warmly received by fans though you can tell the tour players are less than thrilled even when they say in their press conferences “it’s great to have her (Henin) back on the tour.” Serena would probably be facing Elena Dementieva if Henin weren’t around. And for Serena, that’s probably good news as she is not 100% physically.