After 5hrs 53mins – the longest grand slam final ever – Novak Djokovic emerged the winner of the Australian Open in Melbourne, beating Rafael Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5.
The final featuring the top two players in the world was set up after Nadal’s triumph over his long-time rival Roger Federer, and Djokovic’s victory against some grumpy Scottish lady called Andy Murray; and it was the seventh straight victory for the Serb in their recent series.
Following Nadal’s first set win, Djokovic had the opportunity to end the match after getting his act together and taking the next two and earning match points in the fourth; but the Spaniard Nadal, cheered on by Spaniards waving Spanish flags – he’s Spanish, apparently – rallied and forced the knackered looking Djokovic to go all the way.
It was an amazing display of skill and endurance from both players, and was top class tennis at his best.
The only negative was the TV coverage, which featured more unnecessary slow-mo action than an episode of Baywatch and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films put together. In the same way we were treated shots of Pamela Anderson running through the surf, and the Hoff’s man boobs bouncing around, Djokovic’s gurning and Nadal’s fist pumping were endlessly replayed after EVERY point.
But ignoring the frustrated wannabe film director beaten down by his lack of talent and impotence, it was a superb display of everything you’d expect from two top class athletes, and made you look forward to the French Open.
By Peter Simpson