Friday, January 29, 2010

Australian Open: Final Fab Four

The women's final is set to begin down in Melbourne in only a few hours from now. Just enough time for me to talk about the fab four to make it to the finals.

Defending champion and world no. 1 Serena Williams is seeking her 5th Australian Open win and her 12th Grand Slam trophy, tying her with legendary Billie Jean King. Former champion and currently unseeded Justine Henin will look to get her 8th Grand Slam win. Both players had to fight off a couple of Chinese players, Li Na and Jie Zheng, to make it to the finals. This will be the first time these two champions have met one another in a Grand Slam final.

Historically, Serena leads their H2H 7-6 dismantling Henin in their last meeting in 2008 at Miami 6-2 6-0. In hard courts, Serena leads 4-1, but in Grand Slams Henin takes the lead at 4-1. Serena's serve has been the biggest factor in the tournament for her and it'll set the tone during the final. Henin had the much easier semifinal match and had more time to rest, but the Belgian has been more streaky.

Prediction: Serena Williams in 3

Three-time champion and world no. 1 Roger Federer has now reached the finals 18 times out of the last 19 Grand Slam tournaments and has now reached this level 22 times! Pretty mindboggling especially when coupled with the fact that he extended his monumental streak of Grand Slam semifinals to 23 by soundly defeating 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. British no. 1 Andy Murray reaches his second Grand Slam final and hopes to get his first Grand Slam title ending the decades-long wait for a British Grand Slam champion. He took down Marin Cilic in four sets.

Federer and Murray has met each other 10 times all in hard courts with Murray leading their H2H 6-4. It's important to note, however, that the only time they've met each other in the Grand Slam tournament, 2008 US Open final, Federer won in straight sets. Federer also won their last two meetings and will be extra motivated to keep that mini-streak going as well as get #16. Both have done exceptionally well this tournament with Federer losing only two sets and Murray only the one against Cilic. Their all-court skills promises a high-quality match not to be missed.

Prediction: Roger Federer in 4

Just a note that I did predict Federer and Serena to reach the finals all the way in the beginning. I mean they weren't exactly risky choices, but they've proven themselves over and over and over. I'm not shocked to see Henin or Murray reach the finals and it's pretty fitting to see them go up against the world no. 1s especially since the sometimes contentious history between Serena-Henin and between Federer-Murray will add that extra level to the finals.

I say game on.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!