Well the Australian Open is now reaching its climax and we’re now aware as to who the finalists are in the respective singles’ tournament finals. On the women’s side we have world number 2 Serena Williams of the United States. Opposing here will be Russia’s Dinara Safina. Safina is the younger sister of former US Open men’s champion Marat Safin.
Nadal stretches for a forehand return against Fernando Verdasco in their semi-final match. Nadal would prevail in an epic five set thriller . picture appears courtesy of ap/ Matt O’Rourke ……………..
For Williams she will be seeking to win her ninth singles’ Grand Slam title, putting her in esteemed company. There’ve been only six other women in the Open era to have won more than six Grand Slam Open singles’ titles. Chris Evert ,Steffie Graf, Martina Navratilova , Margaret Court, Monica Seles and Billie Jean-King. Distinguished and esteemed company indeed. And it will be widely speculated upon whether or not she has met her match in the young prodigious Russian player. She’s obviously favored to win the title. But it’d be foolish to believe that Serena Williams will have things all to herself once the game begins.
Federer returns a backhand passing shot in his semi-final match against Andy Roddick. picture appears courtesy of afp/ Paul Taylor …………..
On the men’s side we’ll have the top two male players in the world who between have accounted for 18 Grand Slam singles’ titles in their short but most definitely astonishing careers. World number 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain and the man many believe to be the greatest player of the modern era Roger Federer of Switzerland who has won 13 Grand Slam singles’ tournaments. Nadal , himself has accounted for 4 French Open titles but also has amongst his tally a Wimbledon title win. Which many have described as perhaps the greatest ever singles tournament triumph ever to take place on the hallowed center court at Wimbledon. That was where many of the purists believe that Nadal came of age as an allround player.
The duels between the two have already reached legendary status . And it has become the sort of rivalry that the fans of the sport now adore. Not since the days of Sampras , Agassi have we seen such an intense rivalry, that has been played and where sportsmanship has been displayed at such a high level. There is a mutual respect between the players as to each other’s abilities. And if nothing else even to the passing sport’s fan whenever these two players meet even those unacquainted with the game do sit up and take notice. This men’s singles’ finals may well suit Nadal as he’s playing with such intensity and abandonment. Many of the opponents that he’s faced in the tournament haven’t really posed a threat to him. However it’s believed that Federer will be able to change all that. He’s not injured coming into the Australian Open tournament and has been playing some of the best tennis of since his epic Wimbledon win 2008. This win to my mind was the greatest Grand Slam singles’ tournament finals ever to take place . Such was the essence of the athleticism shown and the very fact that both gave it their without any respite.
And whilst we might lament the state of tennis overall. As it’s not really viewed upon as a top tier sport. It has to be said that at the major Grand Slam tournaments everything else takes a back seat as the fans come out in droves. The four tournaments that make up the Grand Slam calendar year are the Australian , French , Wimbledon and the US Open. The latter considered to be the national championship of the United States. But the most prestigious of the quartet has to be Wimbledon. Merely because of its grandeur and the prevailing history behind it all. It’s locale for the championship merely conjures up the essence of what the game has been about. The All England Tennis Club in southwest London. Strawberries , cream , jeroboams of champagne. And the ladies in their summer dresses and beautifully custom made hats. The men on the other hand are just as formally suited. But as we all know there has been somewhat a nuance in change as the game has become more socially accepted in various demographics and ethnicities in terms of the fan base.
A triumphant Serena Williams raises her arms aloft having won the Women’s Singles Finals over Dina Safina 6-0, 6-3 in a rout for her tenth Grand Slam singles title. picture appeears courtesy of ap/ Roger Thornton …………….
The game itself has seen many changes over the years. And as a sport it may well be the only one where the men and women share an equal footing when it comes to prize money. The same can’t be said when it comes to other sports where the male and female competitors share basically the same recreational environment. Try as one can that day will never come ! If it can’t even happen in the work place then there’s nothing to believe that it’ll happen within the realms of sports. Other than in the game of tennis.
A forelorn Safina wipes her brow having just lost the Women’s Singles Finals to Serena Williams in straight sets . picture appears courtesy of afp/ Roger McIntyre ………………………..
So as the women’s finals will take place this Saturday in Melbourne between Safina and Williams. Let’s just see what it’ll take for either to prove themselves a worthy champion. The same can be said for the men’s finals , which takes place on Sunday. It has the makings of being another epic match up between the two best players in the game today. So take your pick ? Williams or Safina ? Federer or Nadal ? In both cases the events themselves will be well worth watching !
As an added postnote Williams would go on to win her tenth Grand Slam singles’ title. Along with that she regained the number one ranking atop of the WTA. The result was a straight sets win 6-0, 6-3 rout in 58 excruciating minutes for the young Russian, Dinara Safina.