Li Na of China and, as Craig put it so well, the computer ranked WTA #1 Caroline Wozniacki was a tale of two matches.
The first match saw the "defensive minded" Caroline Wozniacki win the first set 6-3 over a Li Na who couldn't find the court. Li's groundstrokes were not sharp and her shot selection was suspect. The rout continued into the second set and for awhile it looked as if the WTA would get it's wish and have it's top ranked player reach a final to start off the year. Instead Na began to steady herself and hit winners forcing Wozniacki to have to play. At the end of the match there was no avoiding the fact that Li Na had 38 winners to Caroline Wozniacki's 10. That's ten winners in a three set match that lasted over two and a half hours. As one of the talking heads lamented "You can't expect to win a match with only ten winners". No you can't. There were a lot of posters on Twitter who were saying Wozniacki's career as a contender is over. I don't go that far. I think she'll continue to win lower level tournaments. Unless the draw breaks for her in a major she is always going to have problems in the later stages of a major. There is no getting around that.
The big win for the WTA was the focus on the personalities of WTA players we the public never hear from and rarely see. To say Li Na charmed the public after her win last night is putting it mildly. We got to know Francesca Schiavone through her on court play and saw potential stars of the future like Petra Kvitova . These women have handed the WTA the opportunity to change their marketing of the tour to focus on the players not an image.
Roger Federer an extra days rest since the second semifinal will be played at 7:30p Saturday Melbourne time.
Do I have to say it again? A soft draw does not a champion make. I don't think Federer played a seed until he faced 19th seed Stanislas Wawrinka who played so poorly people were sarcastically asking how much Federer paid him to take a dive.
All humor aside Novak Djokovic will be getting that extra day of rest. He was not intimidated. He played solid, fully focused intelligent tennis throughout the match. When he overcame the 5-2 lead Federer had built in the second set there was no doubt that he would win the match. When it comes to the top ranks of the ATP tour no one is there who will play as if he's in awe of The Name as Marcos Baghdatis said by way of explaining his choke against Federer a few years back. Put simply Djokovic outthought and out played Federer.
Much was made of the possibility of Rafael Nadal holding all four Slam titles by the media. It was as if no one wanted to entertain the possibility that at the end of the day Roger Federer would not hold any. I watched the replay on Tennis Channel this morning and that fact was mentioned almost in passing by one of the talking heads.
I only made one prediction about the Australian Open and that was that Caroline Wozniacki would not go deep. She made the semifinals so I guess my prediction was off.
We won't know the second ATP finalist until later this morning on the Eastern coast of NY. Will Djokovic win his second title or will a new King of Melbourne be crowned? I call this match a toss up. If David Ferrer plays the way he did the other night against an uninjured Andy Murray things could be very interesting to say the least.