Sunday, January 27, 2013


Many times in a match, there is that turning point, that time when the match takes a turn and relentlessly pushes forward to final conclusion. Today, at the Men's Australian Open, this phenomenon held true. 

The ultimate winner of the Australian Open is third time consecutive champion Novak Djokovic, who has won this title a total of four times~

photo courtesy of AP/Dita Alangkara
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray played perfect, book tennis for the first two sets. Djokovic 6-7, then 7-6, both going to tiebreaker.

Early in the third set, Djokovic falls, but he returns the ball as he falls, recovers, and gets to net to drop shot for a winning point:

This is the motion and resolve of a champion.  Novak is not injured, to the contrary he is resilient. This could be the first "little" momentum swing in his direction.  Puts Andy Murray on the defensive, who would not be, observing such finesse under duress?

But then, in the absolute middle of the third set, at 3-3, something happened.  Something BIG.

I watch for this moment when the match momentum shifts.  Here, it shifted in a big way, and never looked back. Sometimes I wonder if the very real phenomenon of match momentum is the third person on the court! 

There was a 36 shot rally. Superb tennis by both players. Djokovic won the point.

After that rally, the last 2 sets Djokovic really took the match away.

The lesson here~ Not always, but if you win the big rally, midway in the match, you have a high probability of shifting the match momentum in your direction, and holding it there, too.

Djokovic wins that game, then breaks Andy next for a third set 5-3 score, and wins on his serve to take that third set at 6-3.

Murray fights back in the 4th set, but unfortunately his efforts are not enough.  Andy is visibly limping at 1-2.  Bad sign. We learn later he had a blister on his foot, really have to have the right size sneakers and proper socks!

Other observations~as soon as Djokovic sees an opening, he takes it.  He is a no nonsense player.

~Novak Djokovic is the first man to win three consecutive Australian Open titles.

At the highest of levels, it is really only 4 or 5 points that can turn a match~ Novak has a higher ace count than Murray, plus he is deemed the best returner in the game.

Congratulations, Novak Djokovic! 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.  Game, set, match.

Full highlights of today's championship~

Tennis aficionados! This IS inspiring, get on out there, and play!!

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