It was, perhaps, a bit of both.
For the first two sets, it seemed as though it was to be yet another cakewalk for the Swiss. The motions were smooth; the serve was chugging along like a Rolls Royce. The Frenchman was sleepwalking his way out of the tournament.
Then suddenly, something changed. It was, as though, the Ali-lookalike realised that this was his best chance—his only one. He had nothing to lose, so why not go at it full-tilt like the gladiator he is?
The first break of Roger’s sublime service fuelled this belief. That, maybe, there was something to be gainsaid from it all.
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Novak Djokovic played spoilsport at the 2011 Australian Open annexing his second major after a dry spell of three years.
Sportswriters were forced to scramble to change the headlines they had imagined citing either a Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer triumph. They had to reinvent their catch-phrases.(Damn you, Djokovic!)
The Serb’s victory was welcomed as the emergence of the Third Force.
The fallout was swift. In a rush to hail the rise of the young brigade, ‘tennis pundits’ were quick to pronounce death sentence on the Federer- Nadal rivalry.
It may soon be a case of the doomsayers having to eat their words all over again.
However, they are not totally wrong.