Roger Federer wins record 20th Grand Slam with Australian Open win

The final Federer serve was challenged by Marin Cilic as the latter felt it bounced out of bounds. Every eye in the Rod Laver arena followed the hawk-eye on the screen excitedly. The screen showed the ball leave Federer’s racket, sail over the net, and bounce on the left side-line before crashing into the advertising board. The centre court at Melbourne Park erupted. Roger Federer had just won his sixth Australian Open championship and 20th Grand Slam title. He raised his arms, acknowledging the cheering crowd, and hugged Cilic at the net. A thrilling five-set final came to an end.

The final began at 7:30 in the evening with the roof shut owing to the warm weather. Federer was at his aggressive best in the first set. A flurry of strong forehands and few well-placed volleys unsettled Cilic. In a short span of 26 minutes, Federer won the first set, 6-2.

Cilic gained momentum and found his rhythm in the second set. He got his big forehand going. Both players held their service games and the set headed to a tie-break. Cilic brought his best on court in the tie-break. A few strong forehands and a smash saw him clinch the second set, 7-6.

Federer hadn’t dropped a set until now in the tournament. The match was set for an enthralling middle period.

Federer hardly broke sweat and finished the third set, 6-3. The match had Federer written all over it.

However, fortunes turned in the fourth set. Cilic played some sensational tennis. Federer’s first serve percent fell drastically and Cilic capitalised on the same. Cilic bagged the fourth set, 6-4.

The match headed to an exciting finish. Federer’s five set record wasn’t as great at Cilic’s, and the Croat certainly fancied his chances.

However, Federer played some classic tennis in the decider. He capitalised on Cilic’s many errors and double-faults, and clinched the set, 6-1. The final set had a stamp of vintage Federer.

Roger Federer became the fourth player, after Margaret Court, Steffi Graf, and Serena Williams, to win 20 Grand Slam titles. His closest male challenger, Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam titles stand at 16.

After yesterday’s win, a flurry of records came by Federer’s name. He is tied with Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson for the most Australian Open titles. He holds the record of winning 10% of all open-era men’s singles Grand Slam titles since Tennis turned pro in 1968. He has won 96 ATP titles and stands a realistic chance of making them 100 by year-end. His next tournament is in Dubai in February. If he wins in Dubai, he will secure the top-spot in the world rankings and become the oldest player to hold the distinction.

Federer couldn’t hold back his tears as he accepted the Normal Brookes Challenge Cup. “I’ve won three Slams now in 12 months. I can’t believe it myself,” he said.

He is set for an exhilarating 2018. Every Federer fan hopes that 2018, like 2017, is the year of Roger Federer.

Nadal Federer in the same half Sharapova to take the centre stage

The last Grand Slam of the year US Open will start from Monday 28 August. The draw ceremony for the same took place at US Open Experience in Manhattan’s Seaport District on Friday.

The tournament will see the return of former World No.1 Maria Sharapova. The 2006 US Open Champion will start the tournament against the No.2 seeded Simona Halep. The tournament could potentially witness a first US Open matchup between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Let’s have a close look at the draw

Current World No.1 Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both placed in the top half of the draw and could invite a thrilling semi-final if both manage to stay in the tournament. This could be the first meeting between the two at the Flushing Meadows.

Nadal will start the tournament against Serbian’s Dusan Lajovic and could potentially face No. 26 seed Richard Gasquet in the third round and No.15 seed Tomas Berdych in the Round of 16.

No. 3 seeded Roger Federer will face Frances Tiafoe in the first round and could possibly face No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgois in second round and No. 17 seed Sam Querry in the fourth round. By the looks of it, Federer has a tough road on his way to capture his 20th Grand Slam. The Swiss master could face Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter final.

Second seeded and former World No.1 Andy Murray is placed in the bottom half of the draw and will face Tennys Sandgren in his first round. If all goes well for the former 2012 US Open Champion, hewill be up against either Lucas Pouille or David Ferrer in the Round of 16 and a quarter-final set up against No.8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In the women’s draw former Champion Maria Sharapova will attract attention as she will be returning to a Grand Slam after her 2016 Australian Open appearance followed by her ban over substance abuse. She will start her tournament against No.2 seed Simona Halep.

No.1 seeded Pliskova is up against Poland’s Linette and is placed in the upper half of the draw. The potential quarterfinals in the bottom half could be Johanna Kontana against Sharpova or Halep, Grabine Muguruza against Caroline Wozniacki or ten time major Champion Venus Williams.

The absence of Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka will help open up the tournament but also give an opportunity for the youunger players to step up.

Sourced from US Open

Shocks, Wins and Losses at the Australian Open

After the surprising defeat of former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Federer, defying his age waltzed to the top sixteen in a one-sided game against Tomas Berdych. The scores were 6-2 6-4 6-4. Federer will now play against World no. 5, Kei Nishikori.

According to the official website of the Australian Open, Federer said, “If he’s the favourite, I’m the favourite, I don’t know,” Federer said of Nishikori, who trails their head-to-head 4-2. “But he’s definitely played better and more tennis in recent months. But then again, it’s a new season. We’ll see what happens”.

Nishikori defeated Lukas Lacko in a three set match with the scores, 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Bernard Tomic and Daniel Evans played a nail-biting three settler with Tomic bowing out of the match 7-5 7-6 7-6. Tomic fought his way back, with the crowd on the Queenslander’s side as he made his opponent run around the court with clever placement of shots. However, this wasn’t enough to clinch a win. Tomic finally folded to Evans in a tiebreak, bowing out of the Open and causing another upset for the tournament.

World No. 1 Andy Murray defeated Sam Querrey in an easy three-set win, advancing into the fourth round. It is his 48th victory in Australian Open, just a mere four wins away from his maiden title in Melbourne.

News Source- Telegraph, The Australian 

Image Source- Telegraph

 

 

Wimbledon: A preview

It has been exactly a year since the four top-ranked players in men’s tennis took part together in the same Grand Slam. A sprained knee had kept fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal out of last year’s US Open and this year’s opener in Melbourne. But the Spaniard is back with a bang, fresh from his Roland Garros victory. British Olympic Gold medalist Andy Murray is back too, after missing the French Open. The Scot is still looking to become the first Brit since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the singles title at SW19.

In the women’s draw, all fingers may point to a potential final between defending champion Serena Williams and world no. 2 Maria Sharapova. The two women were already exchanging a volley of words in the media, and will look to settle it out on the grass.

With the draws oddly stacked up for the gentlemen and fairly unsurprisingly for the ladies, here’s what to ‘not’ expect at this year’s Wimbledon:

1. Do not expect a miracle from the Swiss Maestro: As much as we all love fairy tales and Roger Federer even more, this is one thing we should not expect from the third-seeded defending champion. If age and fitness wasn’t enough, the draw betrayed him too, placing him in the bottom half along side Murray, Nadal and the man who beat him in Paris, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. To win this year, Federer would have to overcome a possible quarter-final with Nadal, semis against Murray and likely final against Novak Djokovic.

2. Djokovic to be surprised? Not likely: The world number one will probably have an easy run all the way to the semis, where he might face David Ferrer. A possible 2nd Wimbledon crown looks likely.

3. Murray to rescue Britain –  not this year: If the shoulder injury had healed, the draw would have been much more hurtful. With Nadal nearing his prime (again) and the threat of Federer always there, Murray might have to overcome his own mental barriers to emerge successful in his half.

4. Someone stoping Serena: The younger Williams sister looks fresher than ever and (more importantly) dangerous than ever. The spectators in Roland Garros and all over the world were testimony to perhaps the biggest force in women’s tennis at the moment. Serena’s demolition of Sara Errani in the semis and complete overpowering of Sharapova in the finals, would make her any bookmakers favourite.

Overall, this year thousands of spectators will line up outside the gates of SW19 to catch even a glimpse of their favourite player. Every year, Wimbledon carries a very romantic sentiment with it; last summer’s men’s final was one such case. All we can do is wait and watch to who gets their names engraved on the wall in tennis’ most prestigious event.