Here are Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray's player profiles for Head Tennis. Nole talks about his desire to be #1 and his rivalry with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and Andy talks about how he likes to vary his game. To see more player profiles, click here.
Both Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki came out to support their friends Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray respectively. The question is, whose box do you prefer?
Photo: Getty Images/Lucas Dawson
Everyone knew, even most die-hard David Ferrer fans, that this match was probably Andy Murray's to lose. If Andy could impose his game of tennis on David, often referred to as the "little-guy", then it would easily be game-set-match. But, even with that knowledge, there still was this air of excitement among Ferru fans, that after a career of fighting for every point, that THIS could be his moment, and it almost was.
Rafael Nadal, after their quarter-final match, told Ferrer that if he played the way he played that night he would have his chances, and he was right. Excluding the 3rd set, David did what he does best, GRIND, and that combined with his with razor sharp focus, amazing endurance, and shotmaking ability helped him take the first set. He even had a set point to go up 2 sets to love, but Andy began to find his rhythm and elevated his game in the crucial moments.
I've thrown out the word "gutted" many times in my blog, but I have a greater respect for the word after today's match. Because the crowd, commentators, and the laws of physics were so squarely in Murray's corner, I laid it all on line and WILLED Ferrer to win. Sometimes you need to believe that the scrappy underdog can overcome all odds and come out on top, that hard work and heart, in and of themselves, can prevail. But, as anyone knows who follows tennis, David is epitome of both, and although he was thisclose, he still came up short.
So what does this all mean for my sense of self, happiness and prosperity? Come on now, I'm not THAT dramatic. ;) It really just means that on Sunday, it will be Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray battling it out for the Australian Open trophy, and it should prove to be a thrilling Fedaless final. Just not the one I was hoping for.
Here is a little treat from the Australian Open website. It is a quick interview with Semi-finalist David Ferrer while at the beach. (Sorry, he's not shirtless ladies). There is also a great article about him on their site you can find here. Enjoy!
Li Na defeated #1 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the Women's Semi-finals yesterday at the Australian Open becoming the first Chinese woman to make it to a Major Final. I'll be honest the tennis was unfortunately a bit sub-par, but, the on-court interview after made up for it.
In the interview, she jokingly complains that she didn't get any sleep because of her hubby's snoring, when asked what made her fight so hard in the 3rd set she says, "Prize Money." and when told it was her wedding anniversary, her expression is priceless (for the record, I think the reporter got the date wrong). Check it out above.
Below is some of her post-match press conference where she continues her routine:
Q. You said after the match you didn't get much sleep last night.
NA LI: Yeah. I mean, I was wake up every hour, so I say, Stop. I couldn't sleep. My husband just like say, Relax. I say, How? Tell me how can relax because I couldn't sleep. So he was like, Okay, he just totally forget me. This morning, he was asking, How you sleep? I was like, Stop.
Q. Is he going to go into another room now?
NA LI: I think today he can stay in the bathroom, you know. Yeah.
Q. Was it your wedding anniversary today, or is it Saturday?
NA LI: I will think about two days later, but he was think about today. (Smiling.) So I don't know if I was thinking about two days later. Yeah, maybe I should ask my mom. (Laughter.)
Q. Is it true that you're not a typical Chinese in the sense that you're more extrovert? You like to have fun, make jokes? You're not shy? I mean, many Chinese don't talk this much.
NA LI: Oh, yeah, maybe they couldn't speak English so they didn't know how to talk. Yeah, if you guys can't speak Chinese, of course they can make a lot of joke.
For the full transcript, click here.
I'm going to warn you up front, this is post is a bit of a ramble. Must be my blond.
It's still a bit surreal. Last night at 3:00 am I was watching the Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer semi-final, and it was clear that Nole had brought his A-game. He was moving well, he was serving well, and hitting the ball cleanly and I thought I was going to, as expected, settle in for a long 4-5 set match. But, apparently all of my insomnia from watching the Australian Open live caught up with me and I got too comfortable on the couch with my snuggie (Christmas present) and fell asleep. When I woke up, the match was over and because I didn't have my glasses on, all I could make out was that it ended in 3 sets, so I assumed Fed had won. So it was very confusing to me when Fed walked off Rod Laver first. In a sleepy frenzy, I stumbled to find my glasses and then put my face 2 inches from the TV to confirm my suspicions and my jaw fell slack. Nole won in straight sets! In STRAIGHTS!!! And then I did my little happy dance which, if someone videotaped, could be used as blackmail.
I can't even remember a time in a Major where Federer lost in straight sets, so either I am still dreaming, or I am in Nole heaven.
Ana Ivanovic was in Nole Heaven too:
Photo: Getty Images
(I probably shouldn't, but I'm going to put it out there, I don't remember Ana being in Nole's box so much, and usually his girlfriend is there.....so could my desire for them to get married and have pretty tan Serbian babies that will become professional tennis players be coming true? Probably not, but I will be watching that box closely at the Final.)
Since I clearly didn't see the match, here are some tidbits from Roger's post-match press conference (Novak's isn't up on the AO site):
Q. Big disappointment. Thoughts on the game? What went wrong?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought he played a great match. I didn't think I played bad myself, so it was a match played at a very high intensity for a long period of time.
Clearly it's disappointing to lose, but what to do if he plays well on the big points, and potentially maybe I didn't. It was a tough match.
Q. Physically how much did the match take out of you? Did you feel at any point you were getting weary, that he was wearing you down?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I'm feeling really good considering how intense it was. It was a three hour match over three sets and, you know, I don't take much time in between points. It's maybe even a longer match if you like.
No, I felt good. It was intense. We had long, tough rallies and played at a very high speed and everything. So sure, you feel it a little bit, but obviously I was ready for another two sets easily. Pity that I couldn't push him there.
Q. You couldn't defend the title. What do you think about this?
ROGER FEDERER: I couldn't? Yes, I could not.
Q. How do you feel?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel okay, because I'm healthy. I wish I had a chance on Sunday, but, look, Novak was the better player tonight. You got to accept that and move on from here.
It's not the end in any way. It's a start for many other tournaments after this. Sure, it's disappointing and it hurts in the moment itself. I wish I could have won here again for the fifth time.
But wasn't possible tonight.
Q. (Question regarding who will win the final)
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know who is in the final yet on the other side. I fancy Murray's chances to go through. Then again, it's night. I don't know how that's going to match up against each other.
I'm sure it's going to be an exciting final. I mean, obviously if Novak plays at this level, he's got his chances; if Murray continues playing at his level he'll have his chances too. Ferrer played a fantastic match yesterday.
Yeah, regardless it's going to be a great end to the tournament.
Q. Todd Woodbridge after the match was sort of suggesting that with Rafa injured and you out now that it was something of a passing of the torch.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, they say that very quickly, so...
Let's talk in six months again.
We all know that he's not going anywhere, and as much as I root against him, I don't want him to, because tennis without the brilliance of Fed makes me sad.
Catch the 2nd semi-final tomorrow morning at 3:30 am EST on ESPN2: David Ferrer vs Andy Murray.
Here is a snippet of Rafael Nadal's and David Ferrer's post-match press conferences after their quarter-final match. Rafa is such a stand-up guy. I think I love him even more (if that is possible.)