A most wonderful week in Brisbane is poised to have an epic end in a few hours from now. As most of us have expected, Serena Williams bull-dozed her way to the WTA Brisbane title taking out Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in epic fashion. The men will have their own epic final contested by two of the best tennis players in this millenium – Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt! These two guys who are from the New Balls please generation in 2000 have defied age and many physical challenges to give us a final with delicious prospects.
I had picked both these stalwarts to the semis, [tooting my own horn, I got all 4 Brisbane semi-finalists right :)], but I had Kei Nishikori taking out Hewitt. Credit to Hewitt then, for digging deep and coming up with a performance that is on par with any inspirational Hollywood movie based on “come-backs”. Hewitt started off in commanding fashion knocking out the ever dangerous Feliciano Lopez. He then proceeded to put a beat-down, as Brad Gilbert would say, on Copil who had ousted Gilles Simon. His real test came in the semi-finals against Nishikori and in a titanic battle, Hewitt showed Nishikori and the world some of his best tennis and the abilities that make him one of the greatest competitors in the Tennis Galaxy, if not the very best !
Roger Federer had a similar path to the final. He started off with an impressive display against Jarkko Nieminen and for good measure hit, possibly the shot of the year in his first doubles match- yes it was lucky, but it also has a lot of athletic prowess from the great man, Mr. Tennis aka Roger Federer. Federer than took a nervous Matosevic to school in his next round serving him two bread-sticks. In his toughest match of the week-to-date, Roger overcame the talented French-man, Jeremy Chardy in 3 tough sets.
Who will be winning the gold-ware then? Federer has a commanding 18-8 H2H, but Hewitt has been troubling the 17-time slam Champion, quite a bit since Federer started descending the mountain of greatness a few years ago. The key is obviously going to be the strengths of each of these players – Federer’s serve and forehand combination versus Hewitt’s GOAT-league return and his other GOAT-league strength – his mental strength. There is going to be an additional X-factor, how well these tennis geriatrics will recover from their brutal semi-finals. I hope both players will recover well to serve us our first epic battle of the 2014 season.
Prediction: In a tight 2 set battle, I will go with Roger Federer to give a winning start to Fedberg! Federer wins 6-4, 7-6