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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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02/09/2009 | 06:37 AM
To Hughsie and all the others traumatised by the 'fury' , my family and I extend our deepest sympathies; pray to God to help you all through this very sad disaster.
02/09/2009 | 04:53 AM
Roger... I cried when you cried after the AO final.. but youre stil the KING!!! I dont hate Rafa but ... please try to defeat him in Roland garros!!! I LUV much!
02/09/2009 | 04:03 AM
Roger,

You are a hero to many the world over, including myself. I think all of us fans felt the same hurt you did. I think we were all crying with you. I know I was. I am still proud of you and I still love you win or lose. It'll come together. Rafa's
02/09/2009 | 03:27 AM
HEY I JUST WANTED TO COMMENT ON AN COMMENT POSTED BY "GANNU". IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME WAY ABOUT FEDERER AND ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. YOU PUT IT BEAUTIFULLY! YOU COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER. THANKS TO FANS LIKE YOU WE CAN STILL BEL
02/09/2009 | 02:27 AM
Dear Roger,

How I wish you would have time to read all these web posts. You will feel proud. It's amazing the power you have to bring people together - young and old, man and women from all corner of the earth. It brings tear in my eyes to see the a
02/09/2009 | 02:18 AM
***hughsie

Margaret, I'm very, very sorry for that "Hell and Fury" in your country (in Victoria).
It's difficult to hear, that so many people have lost their home (including an immediate member of your family) and many - life.
I hope you are fine (a
02/09/2009 | 02:12 AM
Don't be surprised that a talk about winning a calendar slams for Nadal will appear very soon. I am sure Nadal has his eye on it. ESPN already talked about Nadal being a candidate for GOAT during Wimbeldon 2008. They will start talk like that again very
02/09/2009 | 02:09 AM
I love watching you play, win or lose. I look forward to seeing you in all tennis matches, win or lose. Now let's get on with 2009!
02/09/2009 | 01:54 AM
What an angry person ****Boting is.

Read the last comment made and felt quite disturbed by it.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion without others getting nasty about it.

For *****Hughsie
Thinking of you and your family at this terrible time.
02/09/2009 | 01:52 AM
Fiona for Hughsie,

Thank you so much for you post. I have been quite worried about Hughsie/Margaret and figured it was likely she would be called to assist in Victoria. If you speak to her, do convey our best wishes and concern for her wellbeing and
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