By Bobby Kirschenbaum
While some saw an upset in the making when Andy Murray, the 6 seed, hit the court on Sunday, Novak Djokovic truly outplayed and worked him, and proved to all why he is unanimously retaining his role as #1 in the World. The clock had struck 3 AM here on the East coast of the US, while simultaneously in Melbourne, Australia, the Australian Open finals were being held. It was #1 Novak Djokovic vs. #6 Andy Murray. On a day when Murray had hoped his time had come to defeat the streaky Djokovic, he fell short. To say Murray didn’t put up a fight, however, would be wrong. In the first set Novak had won barely in a tiebreaker, and in return Murray won a tiebreaker himself. This gave Djokovic a slight scare; however, Novak didn’t back down, and he persevered en route to his 4th Australian Open title in 5 years. He defeated Andy 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0. After the match, Murray talked to reporters about falling short in this intense and heartbreaking Grand Slam final. “Obviously I would have liked to have won today, but you can’t win all of them, unfortunately. I’m happy with everything that I put into the event. I couldn’t have done anything more to give myself a better chance to win. So I can’t be disappointed with that because I gave my best effort. That’s all I think you can ask of any athlete: to give themselves the best chance of winning. And I did that. I just wish I could have done a little bit better in the third set.” Murray was more upset with his own unfortunate errors as a whole. While he could have surely improved and upset Djokovic for this title, he will just have to wait for his next crack at a championship.
On the other side of things, Serena Williams won, yet again, to conquer her 6th Australian Open title. In the finals, her opponent was #2 Maria Sharapova. Looking for a huge upset to add to her already impressive resume, Sharapova had to defeat Serena. Sunday, however, was just not her day. Serena had won in straight sets: 6-3, 7-6. Sharapova fought hard in this fierce match between these two legends, but fell short. The score made it seem like a close and competitive match; however, Serena annihilated Maria, and the score was not indicative of how dominant Serena truly was. She aced Sharapova 18 times in the match. It was a defeating and depressing performance for Sharapova, as it was the 17th straight time she fell to the American. It has been over a decade since Sharapova beat Williams. Sharapova spoke afterwards: “Yes, I haven’t won against her many times but, if I’m getting to the stage of competing against someone like Serena, I’m doing something well. I’m setting up a chance to try to beat her and it hasn’t happened. I’m not just going to go home without giving it another chance. That’s just not who I am and not who I was raised to be. I’m a competitor. I love playing against the best and, at the moment, she is.” The streak will go on and Maria Sharapova will have a lot of thinking to do.
The Australian Open has concluded and the two #1 seeds prevailed. The next Grand Slam tournament will not be until Wimbledon in June, 2015; however, several other tournaments will lead up to that big Grand Slam, and there will surely be updates to come from those exciting tournaments.