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Australian Open - Webnews

02.02.2009 | Tennis

Federer's major problem (the boston globe, boston.com)


Pete Sampras couldn't defend himself. But a friend in need turned out to be a young Spanish guy who responded when Sampras screamed, "Stop thief!"


The prospective thief, named Roger Federer, had his eyes and grasping hands on Sampras's treasure, the record 14 major singles championships he earned over 15 years of roaming the world with a dominating tennis racket.


Federer came to this sunny town with 13 majors in his satchel, three of them Australian Opens, ready to cut in on Pete's goodies, and soon to have the record all to himself.


Not so fast, said Rafael Nadal, who had never won anything here, but would protect the sainted Sampras. Nadal let everybody in town know the reign from Spain was going to fall on the concrete plain in Rod Laver Arena. Thus he swooped and scooped Federer's best stuff and whacked it back like an avenging angel so that Sampras could sleep soundly with the record yet under his pillow.




Rafael Nadal has Roger Federer in tears (seattletimes.com)  


It was not quite another tennis masterpiece. The much-anticipated rematch between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland lacked the consistent quality and, above all, the crescendo to the finish of their five-act drama in fading light at Wimbledon last year.


But the Australian Open final Sunday was epic entertainment. It also lasted five sets and more than four hours. It also featured plenty of abrupt reversals of fortune and unexpected breaks of serve. And it also ended with Nadal triumphant and Federer devastated.


Federer, 27, needed a victory to match American Pete Sampras' career record of 14 men's Grand Slam tournament singles titles. But Federer faded badly in the final set and was unable to keep his composure after Nadal's 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-2 victory.


In the ceremony after the match, Federer choked up after receiving the runner-up plate from one of his idols, Rod Laver, and was unable to get more than a few sentences into his speech before he began to cry in earnest.




Another win for Rafael Nadal in rivalry with Roger Federer (chicagotribune.com)


Federer takes loss in Australian final hard


Perhaps no individuals have met more often with more on the line than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sunday's Australian Open final was the 19th match they've played. All but four have been in tournament finals, seven of them Grand Slams. Nadal has won the last three Slam finals, five overall. Perhaps most impressive is Nadal has won on three surfaces—the clay of Roland Garros, Wimbledon's grass and now the Australian hard courts.




Nadal's finale in Melbourne brings Federer to tears (seattlepi.com)


Three years ago Roger Federer wept in the arms of Rod Laver as he accepted the winner's trophy at the Australian Open. There were more tears this week Down Under, with the Swiss not too happy this time.


How could he be, after dropping yet another five-set thriller to nemesis Rafael Nadal? Federer must have thought he had Nadal right where he wanted him, given the bullish Spaniard spent more than five hours on court in his captivating semifinal against another Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, two days earlier.


Nadal's 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 win in 4 1/2 hours denied Federer the historic 14th Grand Slam and has to be an even bigger blow to the world No. 2 than last July's Wimbledon defeat that ended 9-7 in the fifth. Federer sobbed during the trophy presentation, Laver nearby, receiving consolation from none other than Nadal, who acted like a big brother.


"In the first moment you're disappointed, you're shocked, you're sad, then all of a sudden it overwhelms you," Federer said. "The problem is, you can't go in the locker room and take it easy and take a cold shower. You can't. It's the worst feeling."




Nadal outlasts Federer to win his first title at Australian Open (USA Today online)


Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer in another five-set Grand Slam final, keeping Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles intact for now.

Nadal became the first Spanish man to win the Australian Open when he beat Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 in a momentum-swinging, 4-hour, 22-minute final on Sunday night.


Federer, trying to equal Sampras' record, sobbed at the trophy presentation.


"Maybe I'll try later. God, it's killing me," Federer said, crying. He returned to congratulate Nadal within minutes, saying: "You deserved it. You played a fantastic final."




Rafael Nadal leaves little doubt who is No. 1 (washingtonpost.com)


First clay, then grass. Now Rafael Nadal has proven he can win on any surface, entrenching his hold on the No. 1 ranking.


The former crown prince of tennis is now the "King of Australia" _ to quote one Spanish newspaper headline _ after outlasting Roger Federer in five gritty sets in the Australian Open final Sunday for his sixth Grand Slam title.


Now, Nadal can look ahead to Roland Garros, where he already controls center court.


"Everything was very special," the Spaniard said. "I didn't have time yet to enjoy the title because I am too tired."


There will be plenty of time for that.




Rafa triumphs in a classic (the australian online)


In overwhelming Federer 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2, he prevented Roger Federer from joining Pete Sampras in the history books as a holder of a record 14 Grand Slam titles in an epic lasting 4.23 hours.

Adding further significance to the effort, the six-time Grand Slam champion claimed his first major on hardcourt. Given his dominance on clay having claimed the past four French Opens and his success at Wimbledon over Federer in another epic last year, it is not beyond the realms to suggest it is possible he can become only the second man to win the Grand Slam.


It will further the heartbreak for Federer, whose own attempt at joining Rod Laver was twice denied when he was unable to beat Nadal at Roland Garros but claimed the other three titles in 2006 and 2007. After the match Federer broke down in tears as he received his runner's up trophy from one of his heroes, Rod Laver.


Nadal's effort to position himself is extraordinary, for this was a final played at a heavenly level.

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02/07/2009 | 05:13 AM
continued post

All these uncertainties are painful for me to contemplate this week. I love Roger's tennis and sportsmanship so much. And this week, anyway, I have not wanted to face either the idea that there might be something off with his game or h
02/07/2009 | 05:11 AM
Dear Fans,

I have been distraught since the AO presentation ceremony. To be honest, I'm not certain I understand why but it has felt a little bit like grieving. I have tried to stay off the news thread mostly this past week because I haven't trusted
02/07/2009 | 05:10 AM
everybody has their $.02 lord knows i do! Keep on swingin Roger!
02/07/2009 | 05:07 AM
Hey champ:
how are you? ..... Remember: You are the bes of the worl the # 1 , you know ok!
I love you so so much my champ!
Kisses for you and mirka!
Go ROG go my beautifull champ!
02/07/2009 | 04:35 AM
For me, I don’t about others! Roger his the best tennis player simply bcoz he plays more tennis than others or Nadal. Nadal, when faces Roger or other good players he tends to defend a lot instead of attacking….when faces weak players he attacks and finis
02/07/2009 | 04:34 AM
My whole family is Roger’s diehard fan. My 68 years old mother(Indian Malaysian) luv Federer like her own child, she doesn’t u/stand English but she tried to know about Roger asking the children. I sometimes believe that she luv him more than us. This doe
02/07/2009 | 04:31 AM

I can feel you are a little "jumpy" now. Or are you too frustrated? Anyway, I don't think Nadal would be too pleased that you consider him to be the best player. He never wants to be the best and be "the one to beat" on tour. I think he'
02/07/2009 | 04:02 AM
Rog, you are the best! and in so many of those losses to rafa you had tons of opportunities to take the match..Melbourne and what could have been will haunt us all for ever if you don't set things back to winning the big one with rafa on the other side of
02/07/2009 | 03:32 AM
Dear Tuluta,


***Willsson, p.46

I don't think that this site is dividet into "two camps - the good and the bad fans".


Just because a few of us open
02/07/2009 | 02:54 AM
Boting*****You are absolutely right that Roger needs to rest. I guess I am just so anxious to see him get out there and whip everyone he plays that I sometimes forget that he is a human being. I hope that while he is resting he has done some hard thinking