Sunday, January 23, 2011

RAFA SLAM: Aussie Open Round 3 - No More Aussies

(See you in week 2!)

On Saturday, Rafael Nadal made it to the Aussie Open Round of 16 by beating Bernard Tomic - a talented Australian 18-year-old rapscallion in straight sets - 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. I caught the replay of the match on ESPN2 at 10am because the initial live broadcast had them playing at like 4am or 5am Eastern Standard Time. Of course, I'd already checked the score online to see if he'd won. It's interesting to watch a tennis match where you already know the outcome. It's obviously not as suspenseful as live, but somehow knowing the inevitable result makes little points here and there pop out as being incredibly crucial.

For instance, I knew Rafa won the second set 7-5, but at one point he was down in that set 0-4. Had I been watching live, I would've been distraught at that point, but knowing he pulled it out i was fixated on how. HOW could Rafa storm back to claim the next 4 games and even the set? Nothing was going his way, But instead of just hoping for it to change, I looked for how it would change; the lucky breaks, the excellent plays by Rafa, his build in confidence, the moments where Tomic would let up just the tiniest bit because he was so far ahead. Sometimes the turnaround seems so impossible you think you must've read the score wrong. It's really compelling TV.

With Rafa's win over Tomic, all the Australian players are out of the singles draw on both the men's and women's sides. (Also, with Roddick's 3rd round loss all the American Men and Women have been eliminated too. boo-urns.) Rafa will next face Mario Ancic, which will be a tough battle. The second week of the tournament isn't gonna offer any easy matches, as so many top players (Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Soderling, etc.) are still in the mix. Hopefully Rafa continues to feel better from his lingering flu and continues his winning ways! Vamos!

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