The first Grand Slam of this year was all about one person, and one person only. Novak Djokovic succeeded in finally reclaiming his Australian Open singles title, three years after capturing his first one Down Under. This was a huge accomplishment in itself, but what was even more incredible was the way in which he ran through the draw, dropping only one set in the process to Ivan Dodig of Croatia. This "Djokovic" was nothing like the man that won in 2008. Then, Djokovic was a teenager, prone to unpredictable results, struggling with his serve, and succumbing to nerves. This time around, the man from Serbia showed his mental fortitude and unbelievable defense throughout the fortnight.
|Djokovic captured the title this year.|
And it's not as if Djokovic's title was a fluke. He had to fight through constant threats such as Almagro, Berdych, Federer, and Murray. He also wasn't a favorite coming in. But Novak powered through these roadblocks without so much as a hiccup. This, in turn, led to his inspirational graduation out of the "One-Slam Wonder" club.
|Nadal's exit came to David Ferrer.|
From then on, he was nowhere near his best, letting Ferrer dictate the majority of the rallies. He was out of sorts during the entire 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 beat-down. Nadal was, as always, classy in defeat. He congratulated Ferrer continuously in his press conference. But the lingering question of Nadal's future hangs in the air: How long will it be before his body simply won't be able to support his physically taxing game any longer?
|Federer's forehand let him down.|
|Soderling had his best Aussie Open to date.|
Robin Soderling has never enjoyed relative success at the Australian Open. Overall, it has been his worst Grand Slam. This year around, however, everything seemed to be going for him. He was the highest he'd ever been seeded in a Slam, at 4th, and his draw was considerably favorable. In his first three matches, he dominated. He appeared to be the key person in disrupting the Federer-Nadal dream final. In a tricky match against the talented Ukrainian, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Robin's serve, which had been his greatest asset the entire tournament, fell apart. So did his chance to get to the quarterfinals. He bowed out in five unusually quick sets.
|Murray came in as an underdog.|
Another Australian Open has come and gone. Many twists and surprising results dotted the draw. Newcomers emerged, stars bowed out, and five-setters dominated the field. The tournament has left us all in eager anticipation for the next Grand Slam, Roland Garros.
Is it really another four months until then? Sigh...