The 2012 Australian Open reached its final with the current two best tennis players in the world.
By Camilla Mancini
The World’s No.1 Novak Djokovic met the Spaniard Rafael Nadal at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday 29th for the final of the Aussie Grand Slam and as expected it was full of emotions for both players. The match thrilled us throughout the five hours and 53 minutes it lasted and it was just brilliant to see both players recover when chances seemed to be banishing. In the end only one of these amazing players could carry the title again and it would be the Serbian’s opportunity with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 finale. This is Djokovic’s second in-a-row title at Melbourne and the fifth Grand Slam title on his career, which is placing him at the top seed of the season’s ATP Rankings Race to London.
The first set started very even and reaching the first hour they were at 5-5, nonetheless Nadal reinforced his attack and took the lead when the Djoker lost 3 straight points and from there on the Spaniard controlled the set and at 80 minutes owned the first set (5-7). By the end the Serbian had 19 unforced errors, while Rafael had 17 errors, but also two aces. During the second game Djokovic couldn’t convert a couple of break points, which was raising hope on the Spaniard’s side. However didn’t took long for the Serbian to recover and take advantage over a couple of mistakes from his opponent, the score of the second set was at 4-1 by then and he was giving Nadal no time to respond. Instead, just like finding himself, Novak started to return as in previous matches of the competition, while El Toro stayed behind the baseline. Still when the Djoker had the 2-5 lead, the Spaniard controlled the next points and soon they were at 4-5 with a point away from even-up at 5s again; but in that moment the Serbian took advantage of a misjudgment from his rival and after 12 aces and unforced errors the No.1 won the second set (6-4).
Although the third set began with Rafa winning every point at the expense of his challenger’s mistakes, quickly the Serbian pick-up his game and grabbed the lead, leaving Nadal unable to recover it. It was the shortest set, taking Djokovic 45 minutes to win it. With the fourth game ahead and the last 2 sets won it look like the defending champion was close to raise the trophy again. Nevertheless it would take him longer, as El Toro regained strength responding as the pro he is; and when they were at 3-4 the No.2 broke the Djoker to love to get the 4-4 right before the unexpected. At 11:44am the skies brought the rain and the match was suspended while the roof was closed and the floor was being dried out. Almost 10 minutes after the court was ready to continue in the first Australian Open final played under roof. Novak first took the lead, but it wasn’t enough to scare the ruthless contender, so before he knew it they were fighting for the tie-break; and when Nadal had the 6-5 lead, Djokovic saw as he made a mistake how he was losing the chance to finish the game in four sets.
The fifth game was on and in the middle of it they broke another record when the final became the longest ever in a Grand Slam, it was amazing to see how they were holding after all that time battling. When Nadal grabbed the lead with 4-2, 30/15, we all thought he was about to gain his second Aussie title. Then all of a sudden the Djoker used all the energy left and tied-up Rafa again at 5-5 –what an amazing show, the crowd was simply hypnotize. The tie-breaker was the point most fought of the game and it was just impossible to predict which one was about to become the winner of the centennial Aussie Open. The Spaniard then lost concentration and a couple of errors later gave Djokovic the chance to defeat him in a final for the seventh time in-a-row.
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