Australian Open Action 2014
The World Loves Melbourne has enjoyed an action packed Australian Open 2014 as a Promoter for Kia Australia. Round 4 action yesterday was brilliant with an epic battle between Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams that saw the biggest upset of the tournament to date. Both players were gunning it with big shots and it became an enjoyable slugfest. Serena Williams was under duress because of a back complaint, but you can never write her off. Ana Ivanovic was rediscovering her best tennis after being runner up at this tournament in 2008.
There was no better place to be on a sun drenched Melbourne Sunday afternoon. Rod Laver Arena is such an enjoyable stadium to experience tennis. For a start it's modern. The seats are comfortable. The tournament is well run. You can even ring the staff at Rod Laver Arena and they will gladly answer any query with the highest professionalism. The catering is first class and varied (my seafood combo wasn't too greasy). The customer service lady offered to give me a new lanyard, which is a polite way of saying, "please make your ticket visible for checking", and she kept asking me whether I was enjoying the tennis. Delightful. And of course there's the roof. All in all it's a feel good tournament that reflects brilliantly on Melbourne. I was sitting next to Brian from The Aussie Word and Mel from GrandSlamGal.
Thanks to Mel for the photos - follow her site for the latest in Grand Slam action.
Ana Ivanovic is a popular player on the circuit and it was great to see the crowd rise as she grew in confidence during this quality match. In inteviews aftwerwards she said she had a mindset to keep swinging and take it to the champion Serena Williams. This was such an entertaining match with both players on the attack.
The talk beforehand was that Ana was in hot form but hadn't won a set from Serena in their previous four encounters.
With Serena taking the first set 6-4 it looked like she was getting on top with her strong serve and hard hitting style. Watching live it seems Serena is always ultra aggressive and almost intimidating, in a good way. She is the consumate professional. When she needs to she can dig deep, and more often than not come up with a stunning serve or a great "get". With courtside seats I could watch the degree of spin on many of her serves - such a skilled professional.
For Ana to take the second set 6-3 was a huge achievement. She was hitting against a formidable opponent who rarelly lets her guard down. The mindset to keep taking risks and taking the game on takes courage. And Ana was so resolved this day not to wane in her resolve.
I must say I found her serve ball toss somewhat wonky on occasion, but she often unleashed a great serve after tossing the ball awry.
But this was Ana's day prevailing 6-3 in the third set.
One needs to feel compassion for Serena. With some restriction she still gave it her all, a champion to the end.
Chalk and cheese, the next match on Rod Laver Arena was one sided with Novak Djokovic overpowering the flamboyant Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-0 6-2 in only one hour and 33 minutes.
Fognini was never in the hunt and had no answers. At one stage after a thumping Djokovic cross court forehand, he threw his raquet towards Novak in a playful moment, indicating he was overwhelmed by the Serbian.
The pair are great mates but Djokovic was the consumate professional, even ruthless.
Novak entertained the crowd with his coach Boris Becker impersonation at the post game interview. With Nadal in peak form and the easy win by Djokovic, the big guns are firing at the pointy end of the competition.
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