Simon Graf, the author of one of the best books on Roger Federer, had recently spoken about the great Swiss man and his career. Referring to the 2009 Australian Open final, Graf said that Roger ruined Rafael Nadal’s title celebration after breaking into tears, despite understanding how disappointed Roger was after that heavy defeat.
Nadal’s only Melbourne trophy came in 2009 and he had to give his 120% to win the trophy. He spent almost ten hours on the pitch against Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer. With next to nothing in the tank, Rafa played his best tennis in the decisive set against his greatest rival to celebrate Major’s first hard court crown and third title in the last four major events.
In the semifinals, Rafa ousted the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco after five hours and ten minutes in one of the most extraordinary encounters in Melbourne Park with 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4! Nadal won a point more than Verdasco, served well and was broken twice by only four break chances offered to his compatriot.
On the other hand, Verdasco gave everything to keep in touch with the number 1 in the world. He defended himself against 16 out of 20 breaks and pushed Rafa to the limit all the time. The Spanish veteran has made nearly 100 winners and more than 60 casual mistakes.
He has outperformed Rafa in the longest exchanges but lost up to four strokes in the shorter. Nadal had to survive another marathon on the way to the title, even though there was hardly anything left in his body!
Three-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer stood between Nadal and the sixth major crown, and two major rivals faced each other for the first time at Melbourne Park. The encounter turned into an open war between the greatest players in the world.
Nadal scored a memorable 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 win in four hours and 19 minutes to take the trophy.
Nadal defeated Federer in five sets at the 2009 Australian Open
The Spaniard had little time to recover after the semifinals but he did his best to get a good start against Roger and find the remaining strength in his body to cross the finish line and write history books first.
Federer won a point more than Nadal, but not the ones that mattered most in the fifth set. He lost the serve seven times and converted six of 19 break chances. Roger stayed in touch with Rafa on the extended points, but it wasn’t enough to win the match, lose ground in the final set and allow Rafa to sprint over the top and celebrate the title.
“Roger was just very upset after losing that final. I think he missed a big chance to win the title and he should have taken this match. Nadal had a tough semi-final against Verdasco and Federer could have been fresher should.
In the fifth sentence, however, that was not the case. It was a shame he burst into tears for somehow ruining the moment for Rafa, which has received some criticism. It’s just the way he is; He’s an emotional guy.
I don’t think he’s a big loser. He hates to lose. He had to learn how to lose after he was dethroned and began to lose more often, “said Simon Graf. Photo credit: Sports Then and Now