/ Australian Open 2014 / Australian Open 2014 – Day 14

 

After the dominance of Djokovic and Azarenka over the past few years it was a nice change to see two new winners at the Open this year. The men’s final was full of drama as Rapha took on Stan in the last match of the tournament. Most predicted a Rapha win, but Stan was the one out of the blocks early , taking the first set 6-3. Then Rapha called for the trainer for his back in the second set, and appeared to suffer until his meds kicked in. When Rapha was injured, Stan got annoyed with the umpire for not filling him in on the situation. Rapha was also boo’d after he disappeared off court for a while.

Stan took the second set, and in the third Rapha went from almost retiring, to being 3 love up and dominating. Midway through the fourth and final set it was break for break, until Stan streaked away, winning his first Grand slam ever. Rapha said after the match that he didn’t feel right from the warm up before the match. He was also understanding of why the crowd boo’d him during his medical time out. Rapha has had bad luck in this tournament in the past few years with injuries, and this year was no exception.

It was also a big final between the ladies on Saturday night as Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova faced Chinas Li NA. For Li it was her third Aus Open final, and she was yet to win one. Dominika on the other hand had nothing to lose, being in her first ever Grand slam final. The match started evenly with both girls breaking each other in the opening set, but it was Li to take the first in a tie break. From then on it was all Li as she devastated her opponent 6-love in the second to take her first title here.

Li gave one of the funniest winners speeches, telling the crowd her new coach Carlos saved her marriage, as her husband was on longer guiding her. She also said her publicist Max made her rich. Li has done a lot of work on the mental side of her game in the past year, and it showed. After a competitive first set Dominika conceded she was powerless against Na in the second.

Congratulations to Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor for winning the mixed doubles final in straight sets, and Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt for winning the men’s doubles final in the same style. Kubot promised his family that if he won the tournament he would do the can-can on court, and he did. But Lindstedt was happy not to join in. Special mention also goes to the junior champions Alexander Zverev from Germany and Elizaveta Kulichkova from Russia.

All in all it was a great two weeks with two first time winners and crowd favourites finally achieving their dreams.

 

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