By Bobby Kirschenbaum
Tennis Grand Slam Titles: Where Legends are born and Heros are made. For some, these are the tournaments that boost one’s rising career. For others, it is a nightmare that can live with the athlete and haunt them. On Sunday January 26th, it was one of those days for one of the greatest of all time, Rafael Nadal. From the second the first ball was served to begin the exciting match, it was a nightmare set in stone for Nadal. After dropping the first set to Thomas Berdych, who Rafa had owned for the past several years, he tried shaking it off and comeback in the second set. However, not only did he not win the second set, he got shut out and lost it 6-0, the first time he lost a set 6-0 in almost a decade. By the end of the match, Thomas Berdych had won in straight sets 6-2, 6-0, 7-6. After the match, in an interview with several reporters, Nadal expressed his emotions. “It was just not my day. I didn’t play with the right intensity, the right rhythm. It was a day when the opponent played better than me. I made him play very easy.” Going into the match, head to head Rafa had one 17 straight matches over Berdych. Yes, you read that right, 17! Berdych proved everybody wrong Sunday and will now go on to face Andy Murray in the Semi-Finals, which is sure to be a very exciting match. Attached, here are just some highlights of the dominant performance Berdych put on from the previous match vs Nadal:
In other news around the Australian Open, Serena Williams has continued her tremendous performace as the #1 Women’s Singles player in the world, after defeating #6 seed Garbine Muguruza Blanco 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. After dropping the first set 6-2 to Blanco, Serena surely proved why she is #1 in the world for years now, after a tremendous comeback and storming on to win in 3 sets. Now she is on to the Semi Finals to face her opponent, the winner of the match between Madison Keys and Serena’s very own sister, Venus Williams. If Venus comes out victorious in this match, the two sisters would meet in the Semi-Finals. They are the only 2 sisters to every play each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Over the years, they have played in 25 total matches against each other, and they have also won 13 grand slam titles doubles titles together, 3 olympic gold medals, and overall 21 titles played together.
The Tournament has been very exciting so far, and it only gets better from here. Although Nadal’s title hopes ended rather early this weekend, #1 Novak Djokovic has still clearly proven why he is #1 men’s singles player in the world. He dominated unranked Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5, 7-5. He will now go on to the Quarter-finals, in pursuit of achieving yet another Grand Slam title.
Although the first several rounds of the Austrlian Open have been a thrill for fans, like myself, so far, it only becomes better from here. While #1 Seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams seem to be the favorites to win for their respected sides, an upset is always a possibility, as Thomas Berdych has proven thus far. I will be looking forward to watching the rest of the tournament, as it is sure to be a great finish! Good luck to all fans out there rooting for their favorite player!