Saturday, 26 January 2013

Victoria Azarenka d. Li Na (Australian Open 2013 Final)

What do you do when your favourite player rolls his/her ankle on court and falls down during the match? What do you do, when the same player rolls ankle again and falls head down and smacks his/her head into the court, in the same match?

Li Na and Victoria Azarenka walked onto the court today to fight for the Australian Open crown. The first set started with double of Li Na, and ended with the double fault of Victoria Azarenka, with Li Na clinching the first set 6-4.

Drama unfolded in the second set as Li Na serving at 1-3 30-15 rolled her ankle and fell down. She was unable to put any weight on her leg as she limped to her chair and called for the trainer to have a medical time-out. Her ankle got tapped and she walked back onto the court to win the next 2 points and hold her serve.

Li Na's best chance to get back on serve came in the very next game as she went up 40-0 on Azarenka's serve only to see Azarenka claw her back and hold her serve. Azarenka levelled the match at one set a piece when she held her serve at 5-4 to push the match into a 3rd and final set. 

The third set started in the same fashion, with Azarenka breaking Li, and Li breaking Azarenka right back and then holding her serve for 2-1. There was a break of 10 minutes at that point in time due to the fire-works scheduled for the Australian Day. Azarenka took that time to go off court with the trainer, while Li sat there occasionally glancing at the fire-works. The players returned to the court with Azarenka to serve, on the very first point, Li rolled her ankle again and went down as her head smacked into the court with a huge popping sound. Trainers rushed to the court, and as per Li's words "The head was touching the floor.  Two second I couldn't really see anything.  It was totally black."

However, it was the smile of Li in that moment of adversity that won her millions of more fans. As per Li "when the physio come, she was like, Focus on my finger.  I was start laughing.  I was thinking, This is tennis court, not like hospital.  She was like, Follow my finger, because I didn't follow.  I just watch the eyes.  She says, Follow.  I say, Why?  I'm okay.  Yeah, but, I mean, just in case to check everything on the court."

Li lost that game and got broken in the very next game, as Azarenka went up 4-2, both players held their serve and as Li served to stay in match she got broken again and lost the championship match for the second time in 3 years after winning the first set. Azarenka won the set, match and championship and retained her title and the top spot 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Azarenka proved herself and proved why she is no.1, she sensed her chances and took them when she had to. It was not a very solid play from the world no.1 but it enough for her to defend her title and retain her top spot.

Azarenka let the emotions flow after that as she wept and covered her face with towel, she then walked towards her box where she was greeted by her coach and her friend (or more than just a friend) Red Foo.

How do you see Azarenka's win and Li's loss?

P.S : The answer to the above questions are you lay down, get some sleep and get up and write a biased article to let out your anger, frustration and depression. 

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