Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Federer beats Gonzalez for 10th Grand Slam title

Federer beats Gonzalez for 10th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer thought about changing up his game before he realized: Why mess with domination?
The result was his 10th Grand Slam singles title _ four short of Pete Sampras' record _ as he beat Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday's final and finished a perfect run through the Australian Open, winning 21 consecutive sets.
"If somebody would have told me I'd win 10 Grand Slams from mid '03 till today, I never would have thought there was any chance of doing something like that," Federer said.
He improved his winning streak to a career-best 36 matches, became the first man in the Open era to twice win three straight majors and has won six of the last seven Grand Slam titles _ his only loss was in the French Open final to Rafael Nadal last year.
It also was the first time that a champion went through a major without dropping a set since the 1980 French Open, when Bjorn Borg did it for the third time. Ken Rosewall, who was sitting in the stands, was the last man to do it at the Australian Open, in 1971.
By reaching the final, Federer already had tied Jack Crawford's record of playing in seven consecutive finals at the majors, set in 1934.
"Equaling records, doing something that hasn't been done for a long time, it's really nice, there's no doubt," Federer said. "All I care about in the end is to hopefully hold that trophy, even though it might be 20-18 in the fifth set.
"Of course, now that it's all over, it's great to think, `Wow, you know, not having dropped a set.' It's quite amazing."
Federer said he pondered a different strategy against Gonzalez, then recalled their past history.
"In the end I said, you know what, I've beaten him nine times, so just take it easy and play your game, and hopefully it is going to work out," Federer said. "It did."
While he made his two-week blitz look easy, Federer said a lot of work went into it.
"It all works out in the end. It is just wonderful. I have had a great run here again this year," he said, his parents watching from courtside after flying in to watch him for the first time in Australia. "I am very proud to be holding this trophy again."
Gonzalez said the Swiss star was simply too good.
"I have to congratulate again _ again _ Roger," the 26-year-old Chilean said. "He's on the way to be maybe the best player ever. He makes tennis very simple. He is a great champion who played a really good match today, all week _ almost all his life."
Next up is the French Open, the only major Federer hasn't won yet.
"That's such a tough Grand Slam to win," he said. "I am improving year by year on clay and maybe one year (Nadal) won't be in the final, and if he is, maybe I can beat him."
The first set against Gonzalez lasted 65 minutes, two minutes longer than Serena Williams needed to beat Maria Sharapova for the women's title Saturday.
Williams stuck around and was at a packed Rod Laver Arena on a chilly, breezy night for the men's final.
Amid chants of "Vamos Fernando" and "Come on Speedy," one particularly fervent fan clutched the corners of a Chilean flag and kissed the corners on key points.
Federer had plenty of backers, too, with a number of faces painted like the Swiss flag. One fan waved a sign that proclaimed "Federer is betterer," and the Swiss star backed it up.
Gonzalez, seeded 10th and into his first Grand Slam final, kept Federer under pressure with his big forehand, but could not quite match the all-around game of the player who has been ranked No. 1 for 156 consecutive weeks.
He was trying to run around his backhand to whip powerful forehands. Federer was trying to keep him from doing it, leading to a number of backhand-to-backhand rallies.
Gonzalez was grunting, not on his shots but with effort while tracking down Federer's groundstrokes to the corners. He stumbled and fell once and nearly a second time, and frequently tied his shoes to buy time.
He broke Federer in the ninth game, the first breakpoint chance of the match, and had two set points in the next game but failed to convert. His first serve at 40-15 was called wide. He didn't challenge despite his coach's urgings, and replays showed the ball was good.
Instead, Federer broke back to level at 5-5 and then had four set points in the next game before Gonzalez held in a game that went to deuce seven times. Federer dominated the tiebreaker, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after winning a challenge against an incorrect baseline call and getting the first point replayed.
Gonzalez, the Olympic doubles champion, conceded only two points on serve in the second set until Federer broke for a 4-3 lead.
Federer fired an ace to close the second set and broke Gonzalez in the seventh game of the third. He earned triple championship point with a forehand winner and closed it with a backhand down the line.
He fell to his back, rolled over and then got up, hit a ball into the stands and took a bow. He had lost only 17 points in 16 service games plus the tiebreaker, and dropped only two points on serve in the last set. He finished with 45 winners and only 19 unforced errors.
Gonzalez, who had only three unforced errors against Tommy Haas in the semifinals, had 28 against Federer to go with 31 winners.


Updated : 2021-05-12 13:03 GMT+08:00