Federer – Sweet sixteen.

Much as I am a huge fan of Federer’s, I didn’t actually think he would win the Australian Open this year (or even win a match against Andy Murray). I mean, he hasn’t been performing all that great by his standard for a while (although by any other player’s standard it would still be unbelievable) and his first few rounds in the competition were shaky (and which he only won because his opponents pretty much self-destructed).

Admittedly, he did take out Davydenko (who was one of the picks to win the whole thing) and several of his biggest opponents had already been removed by injuries. Still, Murray’s was on fire the entire competition and many were saying that it’s about time he got his first major.

Despite all that, however, not only did Federer win the first slam of the decade, he did it in straight sets.

Now, unlike Djokovic (with his stomach problems) and Nadal (with knee ailments), Murray went into the match without any serious hindrances (unless you count the stress of being the first Briton in eons to try for a majors trophy or the fact that Federer, having broken all the records, was much more relaxed).

To top it off, he’d been playing pretty so well that, even though he didn’t play all that fantastically during the finals itself (and against a Federer who seemed to have found his second wind), it couldn’t be said that a handicap was given somewhere and it’s undeniable that Federer finally won a top-ranked, healthy player fair and square (unlike, say, his French Open win against Soderling, who was super inexperienced and fluked his way to the finals).

Still, really thought it would be much closer and when Roger took the first two sets with ease (playing beautiful and consistently accurate shots I haven’t seen him hit in ages), I couldn’t really believe it.

That said, though, Murray did up his level in the third set and the tiebreak was a super thrilling nailbiter. At the above point, my heart was (to shove in a cliche) beating so hard I thought it would drop out of my mouth. It was so exciting!

But in the end (and thankfully, because I was waiting to go for dinner), Federer got it on his third match point and won the competition, thereby increasing his all-time slam record and making it even more unobtainable for the rest.

(Isn’t the koala bear super cute?)

While I’m not a fan of Murray’s at all (I find his low-risk, defensive, point-constructing style of play utterly boring to watch, especially against an artiste like Roger), his comment on how “I can cry like Roger; it’s a shame I can’t play like him” was very awwww-inducing.

Still, I’m really happy that Federer won and proved his critics and naysayers (and even ardent fans, like me, who aren’t sure if he’s passed his prime or not) wrong. Here’s looking forward to more slams from him!

Pictures from ontd_tennis

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