Senin, 28 Januari 2013

BOXING: Héctor Camacho's Fighting Collection

Menanggapi banyaknya permintaan akan video pertandingan Hector Camacho, maka kami persembahkan beberapa koleksi pertandingan Hector Camacho, semoga bisa memuaskan para fans Hector Camacho.

Héctor Luís Camacho Matías (May 24, 1962 – November 24, 2012), nicknamed Macho Camacho, was a Puerto Rican professional boxer. Known for his quickness in the ring and flamboyant style, he held major championships in the super featherweight (WBC, 1983), lightweight (WBC, 1985), and junior welterweight (WBO, 1989 and 1991) divisions. After earning minor titles in four additional weight classes, Camacho became the first boxer to be recognized as a septuple champion.
A storied amateur, Camacho won three New York Golden Gloves, beginning with the Sub-Novice 112 lb. championship in 1978. During his 30-year career, Camacho had many notable fights, defeating Panama's Roberto Durán twice, and knocking out Sugar Ray Leonard, sending Leonard into permanent retirement. He also fought against Julio César Chávez, Félix Trinidad, and Oscar de la Hoya, among others.
During his later years, Camacho expanded his popular role and appeared on a variety of Spanish-language reality television shows. In 2010 Macho Camacho had a new opportunity in life and was part of Univision´s' dancing show Mira Quien Baila. Then he landed having a weekly segment on the popular show El Gordo y La Flaca Camacho named Macho News. In 2012 he filmed his reality show Es Macho Time on YouTube channel Nuevon, produced by Ben Silverman company Electus. Also, Camacho launched his signatures Tshirts Itsmachotime and Segudoo partnering with Surropa company, But, he also had trouble with drug abuse and criminal charges. In 2005 he was arrested for burglary, a charge to which he would later plead guilty. In 2008, he won his last major fight, the World Boxing Empire middleweight championship. In 2011, he was shot at three times by would-be carjackers in San Juan, but was uninjured. In the fall of 2012, Camacho was awaiting trial in Florida on charges of physical abuse of one of his sons.
On November 20, 2012, Camacho was shot and seriously wounded while sitting in a car outside a bar in his native Bayamón, Puerto Rico; the driver, a childhood friend, was killed in the shooting. Camacho died four days later; after he was declared clinically brain dead, his mother requested the doctors remove him from life support. After lying in state for two days in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Camacho's remains were transported to New York for burial at request of his mother and sisters.

Real name
Héctor Luis Camacho Matías
Macho Camacho
Rated at
1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
175 cm (69 in)
May 24, 1962
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
November 24, 2012 (aged 50)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Boxing record
Total fights
Wins by KO
No contests

Berikut adalah koleksi video pertandingan Hector Camacho:
  1. 1982-08-28 Hector Camacho vs Johnny Sato (DVDV #1)
  2. 1983-08-07 Hector Camacho vs Rafael Limon (DVDV #1)
  3. 1983-11-18 Hector Camacho vs Rafael Solis (DVDV #1)
  4. 1985-08-10 Hector Camacho vs Jose Luis Ramirez (DVDV #1)
  5. 1986-06-13 Hector Camacho vs Edwin Rosario (DVDV #2)
  6. 1986-09-26 Hector Camacho vs Cornelius Boza Edwards (DVDV #3)
  7. 1989-03-06 Ray Mancini vs Hector Camacho (DVDV #3)
  8. 1990-02-03 Hector Camacho vs Vinny Pazienza (DVDV #4)
  9. 1991-02-23 Hector Camacho vs Greg Haugan I (DVDV #4)
  10. 1992-08-01 Hector Camacho vs Eddie Van Kirk (DVDV #5)
  11. 1992-09-12 Julio Cesar Chavez vs Hector Camacho (DVDV #5)
  12. 1995-01-14 Hector Camacho vs Todd Foster (DVDV #5)
  13. 1995-05-20 Hector Camacho vs Homer Gibbins (DVDV #6)
  14. 1996-06-22 Hector Camacho vs Roberto Duran I (DVDV #6)
  15. 1997-03-01 Ray Leonard vs Hector Camacho (DVDV #7)
  16. 1997-09-13 Oscar De La Hoya vs Hector Camacho (DVDV #7)
  17. 2001-07-14 Hector Camacho vs Roberto Duran II (DVDV #8)
  18. .       1998 IBC Light Middle Weight Hector "MACHO" Camacho vs Tony Menefee (DVD #9)

Sabtu, 26 Januari 2013


DVD Greatest Boxing Collection #387 (1 dvd)
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, The Joint, Las Vegas, USA


  1. Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs) vs Harry Joe Yorgey  (25-1-1, 12 KOs) TKO 8R - Light Middleweight (non title)
  2. Jesus Soto Karass (26-8-3, 17 KOs) vs Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17 KOs) UD 10R - Welterweight (non tittle)
  3. Lucas Martin Matthysse (32-2-0, 30 KOs) vs Mike Dallas Jr. (19-2-1, 8 KOs) TKO 1R - WBC Light Welterweight Title

Lucas Matthysse moves to 33-2

LAS VEGAS -- Interim junior welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse delivered a stunning first-round knockout of Mike Dallas Jr. on Saturday that should persuade boxing fans to get behind his request for a date against unified titlist Danny Garcia.
How eager Garcia will be to accept that challenge remains to be seen.
Matthysse added to his reputation of being an action-packed fighter, flooring Dallas with a powerful right hand in the final minute of the opening frame. Referee Robert Byrd quickly waved off the action as Dallas lay unconscious on the canvas.
The Argentinian, who won all three of his fights in 2012, has called for a big-name opponent in his next performance. He's specifically set his sights on Garcia, who fights Zab Judah on Feb. 9 in Brooklyn.
"I definitely had a future to lose," Matthysse said through an interpreter. "I definitely want Danny Garcia. I hope he gives me the opportunity, but (I'll fight) any top fighter at 140."
In addition to Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs), another option for Matthysse is fellow Argentinian Marcos Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs). All three fighters are promoted by Golden Boy.
Dallas (19-3-1, 8 KOs) was considered a longshot to score the upset. He attempted to use his speed and footwork early, but he failed to generate any offense behind his jab and couldn't avoid a few hard rights to the body by Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs).
Virgil Hunter, Dallas' trainer, was likely more successful irritating Matthysse than his fighter was. Prior to the fight, Hunter accused Matthysse of foul play when he witnessed him taking amino acid vitamins in his locker room.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission investigated the matter and found no issue with the substance Matthysse ingested.
"They came to my dressing room. Why?" Matthysse said after the fight. "I was very upset by that. I'm a clean fighter."
Matthysse, 30, was emotional following the win. It was the 10th time he's finished an opponent in the first round and first since August 2010.


Selasa, 22 Januari 2013

GRANDSLAM: 2013 Australia Open

The Australian Open Tennis Championship 2013 - The Grandslam of Asia/Pacific

WS_F: Victoria Azarenka vs Li Na (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) (2 dvd)
MS_F: Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray (coming soon)
MD_F: Mike Bryan/Bob Bryan vs Robin Haase/Igor Sijsling (6-3, 6-4) (1 dvd)
WD_F: Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci vs Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua (6-2, 3-6, 6-2) (1 dvd)
MXD_F: Jarmila Gajdosova/Matthew Ebden vs Lucie Hradecka/Frantisek Cermak (coming soon)

coming soon, the best match of australian open 2013:
Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka (1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10)

Novak's triple treat
Sunday, 27 January, 2013

The great Roy Emerson must have smiled widely when No. 1 Novak Djokovic put on another defense-to-offense clinic to wear down Andy Murray 6-7(2) 7-6(3) 6-3 6-2 to win his third consecutive Australian Open men’s singles title on Sunday night.
The Serbian became the first man since Emerson won five straight titles from 1963-67 to pull off a hat-trick at the tournament, and the 25-year-old is the first man in the Open Era (1968-present) to do so.
In winning the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for a fourth time, Djokovic earned his sixth Grand Slam title, and the world No.1 joins Andre Agassi and Roger Federer as a four-time Melbourne champion.
“What more motivation you need than from this trophy?” Djokovic asked.
“Just seeing it and reading the names of the winners in last 50, 100 years, it's incredible. To be also mentioned in the history aspect, and winning three in a row, it's a huge achievement. I'm always motivated in every match that I play, but of course Grand Slam finals are always bringing something new, something special to every player, and that's where you want to perform your best.”
Just as Emerson was in his reign, Djokovic was simply relentless. The top seed stamped his mark on the tournament from start to finish, daring every opponent to try and run with him, hit through him and be willing to play past five hours if necessary.
While Murray showed in defeating Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final that he is capable of doing it on occasion, he could not sustain the Serbian’s level at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night, which has become Djokovic’s home away from home.
He has won 21 consecutive matches in Melbourne, some of them simple and easy, other hard-fought but predictable, and some absolute classics when he had to pull out all stops against top-shelf opponents.
Sunday night in Melbourne was one of those affairs, as he and his childhood rival Murray threw big blows at each for three hours and 40 minutes. They went end to end, engaged rapid-fire crosscourt rallies, tossed in sharp slices and bullets down the line. They mixed it up to try and throw their foe off, or cranked it up in intimidating fashion.
Djokovic held four break points in the fifth game of the first set, but couldn't convert as he committed unforced groundstroke errors on all of them.
He held another at 3-3, but Murray put away a forehand volley. Djokovic’s inability to convert any of those seemed to irk him more and more as the set grew longer, and he was also slipping on occasion – possibly because his shoes weren’t gripping the court as they should have – and he began to yell in frustration towards the supporters in his players’ box.
Murray looked a little winded at times after long rallies, but he stayed strong for the most part, gamely running down big blasts and powering up his groundstrokes when called upon.
While Djokovic continued to talk to himself, Murray contested a solid tiebreaker, winning it when Djokovic committed a forehand error.
Djokovic almost dug himself a big hole in the opening game of the second set, but came back from 0-40 down to hold. From there on, he seemed much more comfortable as he began to hold easily, moved further inside the baseline and waited patiently for his opportunities.
He made the rallies as physical as he could, and while he grew frustrated at times with his inability to do much with Murray’s first serve, he punched himself into a tiebreaker.
Contending with a bleeding big right toe that he would be treated after the tiebreaker ended, Murray fell apart at the end of the second set. At two points apiece in the tiebreaker, Murray served a critical double fault when he stopped between serves to remove a feather that had blown onto the court, breaking his focus.
Sensing an opportunity, Djokovic pressed hard, and two Murray backhand errors handed the Serb the set.
Djokovic then began a very deliberate and steady push to the title. He cleaned up his game in the third set, cut down on his unforced errors and added some more pop to his groundstrokes.
“I tried to be more aggressive, so I went for my shots, especially in the third and fourth – I came to the net quite often,” said Djokovic, who won 35 of 41 points at the net.
“I was quite successful in that percentage, so it worked well for me. I needed to be the one who dictates the play.”
Murray was having trouble starting and stopping, and with his movement somewhat compromised, Djokovic pounced. The top seed broke the Scot to 5-3 when Murray dumped a forehand into the net, and then easily held to win the set 6-3.
Sensing victory, Djokovic played even more freely in the fourth set, and he broke Murray to 2-1 after long rally where his foe butchered an inside-out backhand into the net.
With Murray struggling with what appeared to be a left buttock injury and feeling the effects of his four-hour five-set semifinal victory over Roger Federer on Friday night, Djokovic continued to torture the Scot with suffocating defense and began to move Murray as much as he could up and back the court. Djokovic broke Murray again to 4-1 when he caressed a beautiful drop shot, and then saw the world No.3 double fault.
The Serbian dropped first two points of the final game, but he then ran Murray side to side until his legs gave. The contest ended on a Murray backhand long, his 46th unforced error of the match.
“When you play one of your biggest rivals and somebody that is in the top form in finals of a Grand Slam, there is a lot to play for,” said Djokovic, who now owns an 11-7 head-to-head record against Murray.
“I think it went two hours and 20 minutes, the first two sets. I think that says enough about the intensity of the match. I kind of expected that. I knew that it's going to be physically very demanding, a lot of long rallies, so I needed to hang in there. I've done that.”
Murray’s defeat ended his quest to become the first man to back up their maiden Grand Slam title with a second at the very next opportunity, and he has now been runner-up at the Australian Open in three of the last four years, losing to Federer in 2010 and Djokovic 12 months later.

Instant success for Aussie mixed duo
Sunday, 27 January, 2013

Matt Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova entered the fortnight as a scratch wildcard pairing, but leave Australian Open 2013 as Grand Slam champions on home turf after a 6-3 7-5 mixed doubles triumph over Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak on Sunday.
The Australian pair was more solid when it counted in the 73-minute affair, breaking the Hradecka serve twice in the first set for 5-3 before Ebden held to love to take it 6-3.
Ebden and Gajdosova pounced early in the second, pinching a crucial early break on Cermak’s serve in the opening game and consolidating the advantage until 4-2.
Up a set and a break and with one hand seemingly on the cup, the Aussies had break points on Hradecka’s serve but failed to convert, Gajdosova relinquishing the lead in the following game when Hradecka cracked a double-handed forehand crosscourt out of reach to level at 4-4.
Ebden stemmed the flow of games, holding for 5-5, with Hradecka then sending down two double faults and a netted backhand to hand the Aussies the chance to serve for the championship.
Impressive on serve all day, Gajdosova raced to triple match point and sealed the result on her third offering when Cermak sent a return long.
The win marked the first Grand Slam trophy of any kind for the duo, and Gajdosova said it was something every aspiring player dreamt of achieving.
“I know it’s mixed, but it’s still a Grand Slam title. You can tell your kids ‘I won a Grand Slam and it was in Australia’, which is very special,” she said.
“I think our personalities gel pretty well. I hope this is not our last one and we get to play again.”
Ebden admitted he instigated what has started out as an undefeated partnership with Gajdosova in the off-season.
“I chased her up and back in December got a hold of her number from a secret person and just texted her,” he laughed.
“She’s been to the semifinals of other Grand Slams twice with another partner who she sometimes plays with, but he wasn’t available so she said ‘let’s do it’. Then as it got to the quarterfinals, semifinals, it got serious.”
Ebden was clearly not taking the win for granted, as he admitted you never knew how many chances you’d get to compete in a Grand Slam decider.
“To come out with a win in our first final and get a title straight away and to become Grand Slam champions is an amazing feeling, and something we'll always have,” he said.
“Hopefully we can both use this is as a springboard and give us some confidence looking forward to Davis Cup and Fed Cup, and for the rest of the year for singles, too.”

The numbers keep piling up in the Bryan brothers’ favour after the American twins claimed their sixth Australian Open men’s doubles crown with a 6-3 6-4 result against unseeded Dutch pair Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling on Saturday night.
The victory took the duo’s Grand Slam tally to 13, surpassing Australian greats John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the most doubles majors, and atones for a surprise loss to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in last year’s final.
Under lights on their most successful arena, the Bryans were in command throughout, their only shaky moment coming in the opening game when the Dutch ripped through Bob’s serve to break for 1-0.
From there the twins were never headed, making it all the way to the second-last game of the final set before Bob committed their first unforced error of the match.
“Obviously it feels pretty good to have that record. We weren’t thinking about it much out there but it’s going to be fun to look back on in our career to say we have the most Grand Slams,” Mike said.
With the full set of four majors, an Olympic gold medal and a Davis Cup replica trophy filling the cabinet, a calendar-year Grand Slam remains all that has eluded the Bryans.
“I don’t think it’s possible anymore,” Bob said. “The margins are too small and there are too many people who can win.
“As far as records, there’s not much [left] but we’re competitors, we hate to lose and want to finish No.1 and that’s just the way we are.”
“Probably try to shoot for 100 and cut it,” Mike joked. “Has anyone ended up on a round number like that?”
Like any close siblings, the Bryans carry the same rules for keeping the peace onto the tennis court. It keeps them in good stead, Mike believes, to pick up the pieces after difficult losses, no matter how few and far between they are.
“When we lose, we go back to the same place and what we need to do together to get better,” Mike said.
“And we never really point fingers in tough situations. Everyone has their slumps. Those feelings never linger,” Bob added.
With the trophy cabinets already cluttered, was there a piece of silverware they’d still like to squeeze in?
“It’d be nice to win another Davis Cup,” Mike said.

There is just one word to sum up the events surrounding the women’s singles final between Victoria Azarenka and Li Na. Drama.
From 5-4 in the second set of Azarenka’s semifinal to the subdued celebrations following her 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory on Saturday night to secure her second straight Melbourne title, this was a tennis match where what happened off the court almost threatened to rip the spotlight from the action on it.
Thankfully, it didn’t.
Even without the controversy surrounding Azarenka’s semifinal medical time-out in her victory over Sloane Stephens, this final had more than its share of drama once play started. Three interruptions including two medical time-outs – both for Li – and a 10-minute break for fireworks were the kicker in a match that delivered three sets of absorbing tennis.
Azarenka entered Saturday night’s match on a 13-match Melbourne Park winning streak, Li Na was 14-1 for the 2013 season, and the Belarusian had won their past four matches against each other.
In the lead-up, much of the conversation surrounding this final was how would Azarenka handle the scrutiny of the past 48 hours? In the corridor before the match, Li stood still waiting to be called to court, while Azarenka paced around anxiously behind her, her hood on and earphones in as usual.
Li entered to a rapturous applause, while Azarenka received a subdued welcome, which she was fully expecting.
“I was expecting way worse, to be honest,” said Azarenka after the match.
“What can you do? You just have to go out there and try to play tennis in the end of the day.”
And that’s what she did. The top seed channeled her energy into breaking Li in the opening game to get her title defense off to the perfect start, but lost it soon after as Li broke straight back.
It was a pattern that would endure throughout the match. Li would serve first at the beginning of each set, and Azarenka would break her on each occasion.
In all, the opening set threw up seven breaks of serve as both players struggled to hold. Li’s backhand was proving to be her go-to shot as she wrestled the momentum from Azarenka.
The sixth seed needed four set points before finally claiming the opening set after an Azarenka double fault, which she unsuccessfully challenged – more out of desperation than reality.
“In the first set, she was really on top of me, I think, she was really going for her shots and making everything happen,” said Azarenka.
“Then I just had to readjust and really take advantage of when she gives me an opportunity.”
Azarenka lifted her game in the second set, breaking Li twice to set up an early 3-0 lead. Li wrestled back one of the breaks but still trailed 1-3. Then came the night’s first interruption. With the score locked at 30-30, Li fell to the court after trying to change direction, twisting her left ankle in the process.
After getting her ankle taped, Li returned, but the set belonged to Azarenka. The top seed regularly targeted Li’s backhand as she coughed up repeated unforced errors from that side.
The night’s second interruption came early in the final set – a 10-minute break – thanks to the annual Australia Day fireworks.
On the first point following the resumption of play, Li went over on the same injured ankle, crashed to the court and hit the back of her head. The blow was enough to have the sixth seed seeing stars for a moment, but after a quick check-up, play resumed.
Li promptly brought up a break point, which Azarenka fought off with a forehand down the line to hold serve. The world No.1 broke Li the very next game to take a 3-2 lead that she wouldn’t relinquish.
In control of the match now, Azarenka’s consistency won out over Li’s instinct to attack. The sixth seed managed some flashes of brilliance and added a few more winners to the highlights reel, but ultimately she was unable to break back.
Azarenka broke Li one more time to close out the match, becoming the eighth woman to win back-to-back Australian Open titles.
A clearly emotional Azarenka pointed to her team before burying her head in a towel as the pent up emotion from the past two days rushed to the surface.
“I feel really happy right now. It's been a long match. It's been a tough match. Li Na was absolutely playing great tennis. Unfortunate things that happened to her, you know, but that's sport.
“I'm just happy that everything I went through, you know, I still could manage to give my best and really come out there and try to focus on my game and play tennis that I can produce.”
For Azarenka, it’s a happy end to what has been a difficult fortnight. The media scrutiny surrounding her semifinal win could have disrupted her preparation but, to her credit, she found a way to find focus beyond the headlines.
Needless to say, the 23-year-old will attach different memories to this victory compared with her debut title here last year.
“It's a completely different mix of feelings. This one is way more emotional,” she said.
“It's gonna be extra special for me, for sure.”

Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the Australian Open 2013 women’s doubles champions, with the top seeds combining to end the fairytale run of Australian wildcards Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua ,winning 6-2 3-6 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena on Friday.
It is the Italians’ third major title together, following their 2012 French Open and 2012 US Open triumphs, and betters their runner-up finish at last year’s Australian Open.
Barty and Dellacqua had been the surprise packets of the tournament, storming through the draw without dropping a set and becoming the first all-Australian pair to reach the final since 1977.
At just 16 years of age and playing in her first grand slam final, Barty showed no nerves early, hitting a volley winner on the opening point of the match.
The more-experienced Italian pair soon got on top, breaking Dellacqua’s serve twice as they took the opening set in 29 minutes.
Vinci and Errani had too many answers for the Australian pairing, committing only three unforced errors for the set compared to their opponents’ 14.
Dellacqua again dropped serve early in the second set, and it looked as though Errani and Vinci were closing in on a comfortable win. But the Australians dug deep, breaking back in the next game to get back into the match.
The confidence of Dellacqua and Barty was growing, and they broke Errani’s serve in the eighth game to grab a 5-3 lead before Barty served out the set.
The Australians had lifted, and the crowd was being treated to some spectacular doubles action, with all four players impressing with their net play and some brilliantly well-placed lobs.
With the crowd now getting behind them, Barty and Dellacqua broke in the opening game of the final set, and it looked like an upset could be on the cards.
The Italians had other plans though, breaking straight back. Their experience shone through as they won five of the last six games to take it 6-2 in 30 minutes.
Barty, who showed great poise throughout the match, said she was disappointed not to take the title.
“It felt like we were really close in that match, a lot closer than the score suggested,” she said. “A point here and there and I think that third set could have really turned. “
Dellacqua congratulated Errani and Vinci, the first all-Italian team to win the Australian Open women’s title, on their victory.
“They're obviously the No. 1 team in the world. They're there for a reason,” Dellacqua said.

Semi Final:
WS1_SF: Li Na vs Maria Sharapova (6-2, 6-2) (1 dvd)
WS2_SF: Victoria Azarenka vs Sloane Stephens (6-1, 6-4) (1 dvd)
MS1_SF: Novak Djokovic vs David Ferrer (6-2, 6-2, 6-1) (1 dvd)
MS2_SF: Andy Murray vs Roger Federer (6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2) (2 dvd)
MXD_SF: Jarmila Gajdosova/Matthew Ebden  vs Yaroslava Shvedova/Denis Istomin (7-5, 7-6) (1 dvd)

It took Andy Murray over four years to be able to upend the great Roger Federer at a major, but he pulled it off in brilliant fashion, overcoming the Swiss 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 in exactly four hours to earn himself a meeting with top seed Novak Djokovic in Sunday night’s final.
In an extremely physical and complicated contest between two of the game’s smartest tacticians on a brisk Friday evening , Murray was able to emotionally regroup after he failed to serve the match out at 6-5 in the fourth set.
More fit than he was three years ago when Federer bested him in the Melbourne final and certainly mentally tougher after his standout 2012, when he won the Olympic gold medal as well as his first major at the US Open, Murray played an airtight fifth set, winning 16 of his 19 service points and pouncing on his foe’s serves during his return games.
He won the contest when a seemingly exhausted Federer – who has just come of a brutal five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Wednesday night’s quarterfinal – flew a forehand long.
“I’ve obviously lost some tough matches against him in Slams,” Murray said. “So to win one, especially the way that it went tonight, was obviously nice. I’m sure both of us will play each other again in Slams, so it will help having won once against him.”
One of the world’s most accurate returners, Murray immediately began to get on Federer’s serve in the first set and broke him to 2-1 when he forced him into a forehand error. While Murray was in command of numerous baseline rallies as he played deep and with precision, Federer had trouble breaking down the Scot’s defensive wall, even with his ferocious forehand.
Murray won the first set when he crushed a forehand that Federer could only push back into the net, and then he hit a serve down the T that the Swiss couldn’t handle.
Both men upped their levels in the second set and engaged in a number of long and intriguing rallies from inside the baseline. The Swiss tried to break down Murray’s weaker forehand side, while the Scot went at Federer’s backhand. They traded speeds and spins, charged forward on and off, and defended stoutly.
However, the 25-year-old Murray still seemed to have a slight edge in rallies until they went into the tiebreaker. Murray inexplicably blew three straight forehands to go down 1-3, but then he managed to claw back to 5-5. However, while approaching the net, Murray had to leap high in the air to hit a forehand volley and he bounced it short, which allowed Federer to paste a backhand crosscourt winner. He then committed a forehand error, and the Swiss grabbed the set.
Six months ago in the Wimbledon final, Murray had won the first set and was ahead in the second before Federer grabbed it 7-5 and then blitzed him in the next two sets. But the Australian Open is not played on grass, and Murray is more secure on outdoor hard courts. Once again, he was the player consistently controlling the action.
He broke Federer to 3-2 and never looked back, winning the third set by stepping to his left and crushing a forehand down the line and then booming an ace.
But Federer hasn’t managed to win a record 17 Grand Slams for nothing, and with his back against the wall, the 31-year-old showed all of his champion’s mettle.
Murray won a very tense 10-minute game to tie the set 4-4, and he was clearly pumped up, bellowing at the top of his lungs.
At 5-5, he broke the Swiss to love with a forehand crosscourt winner and looked to be in the driver’s seat when, trying to serve the match out at 6-5, he hit a gorgeous forehand down the line and smiled in delight, appearing to believe that he was well on his way to victory.
Federer did not take kindly to the grin and his game rose in response. He yelled something Murray’s way.
“Stuff like that happens daily in tennis matches,” Murray said.
“In sport, the stuff that some people say on football pitches and in basketball and all sorts of sports … it was very, very mild in comparison to what happens in other sports. It’s just one of those things.”
Down 15-30, Federer nailed an overhead at Murray’s body and then walloped a one-handed backhand down the line winner behind Murray that kissed the outside of the line to gain a break point. A shaky Murray then blew an easy forehand crosscourt, and a second tiebreaker was on.
Brimming with confidence, Federer flew through the breaker, nailing a series of winners and then watching Murray miss two returns he would normally handle.
But Murray is no longer the same player who broke down in tears after Federer beat him in straight sets in the 2010 Melbourne final, and he quickly broke Federer to 2-0 when the Swiss framed a backhand long.
While waiting for Federer to come back on court between sets, he tried to think what he had done in a positive fashion to get to that point and focused on doing it immediately.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
“The only thing you can do is play the right way, go for your shots when the opportunity’s there, and hope that it pays off. At any stage he can increase his level and your level can dip, especially in a four-hour match. You just need to try and be focused for as much of the match as possible. The beginning of the fifth set was the part of the match that I was most pleased with.”
From that point on, Federer looked like he had lost a bit of speed off the ground, and he couldn’t touch Murray on his service games.
Serving at 2-5,15-30, the four-time Australian Open champion saw Murray blast a forehand return winner that he didn’t even bother to chase down. He managed to fight off one match point with a serve winner, but then he missed an easy groundstroke to hand the Scot the match.
“I did a good job tonight,” Murray said. “I think I did all the things I needed to do. I did them well. Even after the second and fourth sets, which were tough to lose, because I wasn’t comfortable, but I was in good positions in both sets. To lose them was tough. I was just happy with the way I responded after both those sets.”
Murray will play two-time defending champion Djokovic in the final. The Serbian bested him in five sets in the 2012 Australian semis, but Murray got revenge in the same number of sets at the US Open.
It promises to be a classic.
“I hope it’s a painful match,” said Murray, who finished the match with 62 winners to 43 from Federer.
“That means it’ll be a good one.”

It was always a little strange that Roger Federer came to his post-match press conference so late following his quarterfinal victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday night. That five-set battle finished at roughly 11.30pm, and when it was announced that the second seed would not be conducting his media conference until 12.15am, murmurs arose in the press room – why so late after an already late match?
Those murmurs intensified when Federer delayed his press conference until 1am. “He’s injured,” one journalist rationalised. And when the Swiss did finally emerge to face the media, he entered the theatrette stiffly and laboriously.
Federer insisted that physically he felt fine, and his movement was perfectly in order. But after Friday night’s 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 loss to No.3 seed Andy Murray – notable for his fadeout in the final set after snaring the fourth – it’s hard not to believe that conditioning played a part in the result.
That’s not to take anything away from Murray, who, it must be said, displayed exemplary form on Rod Laver Arena. He had arrived at the semifinal stage having not relinquished a set all fortnight, and was coming off a career-best 2012 season highlighted by an Olympic gold medal and first Grand Slam title at the US Open. Tellingly, when Murray served for the match late in the fourth set before Federer roared back and steamrolled through the ensuing tiebreak, the Scot didn’t wilt, instead wresting back control of the match.
Yet so many times, Federer played shots out of position, tangled up, a step slow. Tugged about the court by his more aggressive opponent, the Swiss’ usually exquisite footwork and cat-like movement simply weren’t as evident. There were times during a limp fifth set – which spanned just 30 minutes – that Federer didn’t even attempt to run down balls. It was a similar story at the Olympics, when after defeating Juan Martin del Potro 19-17 in an epic third set, he came out flat for the gold medal match – against Murray – and was summarily beaten.
Sportingly, the Swiss wasn’t buying into suggestions that fatigue played a part in his demise, despite never before in his career having played back-to-back five-set matches at a major.
“I was hoping to do a bit better, but overall obviously I'm pretty pleased with the tournament. I played good tennis. I'm moving well and was fit in the 10 sets I played, the last two matches,” he said.
“(The Tsonga match tired me) a little bit, but it's not an excuse for me tonight to say that I lost because of that. But obviously I wish I could have come in (fresh) like Andy, as well. Then again, he beat me fair and square tonight. No regrets from me.”
So if he generally felt fine, what was behind such a lacklustre start, and an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance? He finished the four-hour battle with 60 unforced errors (13 more than the Scot) to 43 winners, almost 20 less than Murray’s tally. Some of that was undoubtedly the pressure being heaped on him by the third seed, who smacked 21 aces to five and who was especially damaging on the move, striking several jaw-dropping passing shots and running winners.
“I think overall he probably created more chances than I did. I had difficulties … getting into his service games time and time again (un)like I usually do against him,” Federer reflected.
“It's normal that with time and with age you learn, you become more experienced, become physically better … obviously with (Murray’s) win I think at the Olympics and the US Open, maybe there's just a little bit more belief or he's a bit more calm overall.
“It seems like he has more peace when he plays out there, and in the process he has better results, I guess.”
It’s never pleasant to sound like you’re writing somebody off, but at 31 years old, one wonders just how much age now plays a factor in Federer’s physical health. The world No.2 has enjoyed a remarkably injury-free run throughout his career, and reportedly puts special emphasis on his recovery. But in the past three years at Melbourne Park, younger foes have gotten the better of him, all at the semifinal stage. In 2011 it was Novak Djokovic, 2012 it was Rafael Nadal, and now Murray. All are lauded for their movement, power and endurance, and all are roughly five years his junior.
Yet the Swiss has stated he intends to play on until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. A truncated schedule – beginning this year – is designed to ensure he reaches that goal. Despite tonight’s setback, he has no plans of changing that plan, or how he approaches his matches.
“I’ve played these guys, what, 60 times, the three guys around me in the rankings. So we know each other really well. We play each other very close very often. Keep on trading wins and losses … I enjoy the matches with Rafa, Novak, and also Andy again tonight. It's nice playing five sets against him. It was tough tennis. I enjoy that,” he said.
“So I go from here with a good feeling for the year. I didn't play a tournament leading in, so now obviously I know where my level is at. Also knowing I have even more time to work on my game, work on my fitness this year.
“It's something I'm excited about.”

Following his defeat of Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, David Ferrer was asked if he felt he belonged among the top group of players on the men’s tour, commonly known as the Big Four.
“No, no. I think the top four, they are better,” he answered immediately.
Pressed further, given his status as the No.4 seed at Australian Open 2013, he simply responded: “It's my opinion.”
It turns out that Ferrer was right. Opinion became fact at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night as a packed crowd witnessed one of the more comprehensive Grand Slam semifinal drubbings in the game’s history.
Ferrer was outgunned – or destroyed, humiliated, eviscerated, whichever term you prefer – 6-2 6-2 6-1 by top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, a result that sends the world No.1 into his fourth final at Melbourne Park in six years. At one hour and 29 minutes, it was shorter than the two women’s semifinals that preceded it, both themselves decided in straight sets yet in a shorter, best-of-three set format.
Some suggested that Ferrer’s torrid five-set quarterfinal defeat of compatriot Nicolas Almagro may have affected his performance. Yet that was played more than two days ago in pleasant temperatures, and Ferrer is lauded for his physical fitness.
No, this was more a case of Djokovic being at the peak of his powers, and the Spaniard completely lacking the weapons to contend. Djokovic struck 30 winners and just 16 errors while Ferrer finished with the unfortunately-inverted tally of 11 and 32.
“It (the result) can only do positive things to my confidence. Definitely at this stage of a tournament, playing semifinals against the world No. 4, somebody that I have respect for, great competitor, and being able to perform as well as I did, it's incredible,” Djokovic said.
“I have a great feeling about myself on the court at this moment. Now I have two days off before the finals which gives me enough time to get ready, and recover for the finals.”
After a couple of games were required to settle in to the semifinal, Djokovic soon found his rhythm and was expertly manoeuvring the ball around the court. Whereas Ferrer is notable for his metronomic stroke production, Djokovic was the more creative, looping balls, chipping slices, venturing to the net and working the angles.
He broke in the fifth game and consolidated to love for a 4-2 lead, then played a trademark open-stance backhand on the full stretch and skid to create another break-point opportunity in the next game, which he converted after Ferrer double-faulted.
The Serb snared the opening set in 29 minutes with an ace, and continued to demoralise his hapless opponent in the second set when he broke serve in the third game. Not even problems with his contact lenses – which saw him widening his eyes and later inserting eye drops at a change of ends – could stop him seeing the ball like a football, and promptly clocking it for winner after winner.
There were both traditional and drive volley winners, clean off-backhands, wrong-footing forehands and the odd serve cranked up the T for a timely ace. Djokovic deployed all his weapons to devastating effect, and was quickly up two-sets-to-love.
The most competitive rally of the match came in the opening game in the third, yet after that 32-stroke exchange, Ferrer erred, handing Djokovic yet another break point. The Serb converted, taking his break point conversion tally to a sparkling five-from-five.
The winners continued to flow, and a linesman’s “out” call simply delayed the inevitable in the fourth game – Djokovic challenged, and Hawkeye deemed another of his shots to have skimmed the sideline for a winner. Ferrer was now down 4-0, but, mercifully, managed to hold with some forceful serving. The sympathetic cheers didn’t last long - Djokovic silenced them with another pair of winners followed by a perfectly-weighted drop shot/lob volley combination.
Leading 5-1 in the next game, Djokovic further embarrassed the No.4 seed with two winning drop shots. Almost as if wanting to end the misery, Ferrer then produced three consecutive errors to hand the Serb the most comprehensive of victories, and a championship match date with either No.2 seed Roger Federer or third seed Andy Murray on Sunday.
Djokovic was asked if he would watch Friday’s second semifinal.
“Of course. I love tennis. Tennis is my life,” he answered.
“I'm not just a player, I'm also a fan of this sport. I love to see these big matches. When Federer and Murray and Nadal are playing, those are the special kind of matches in Grand Slams.”
Earlier in the evening, a journalist in the press room noted that it was roughly 2,200km between Belgrade – Djokovic’s birthplace – and the Spanish town of Javea, where Ferrer was born. The gulf between the Serb and the Spaniard’s level on Thursday night was similarly wide.
Thankfully, for everyone concerned, the gap in the players’ respective playing standards will be significantly narrower come Sunday’s final.

It would seem that even champions get nervous. Very nervous.
As Victoria Azarenka homed in on a place in the women’s singles final, sploshing Sloane Stephens for a set and a bit with power and panache, everything suddenly went horribly wrong both on and off the court. On court, the world No.1 went off the boil, started to panic and ended up being prodded and poked by the medics who discovered that one of her ribs had “locked”.
Off the court, the Twitterati went ballistic, accusing Azarenka of gamesmanship for taking a nine-minute medical time out just as Stephens was about to serve to stay in the match. This was going to take some sorting out. The only incontrovertible fact on offer was that Azarenka won, 6-1 6-4.
She had rattled through the first set in just 33 minutes and had taught the 19-year-old American a valuable lesson: it is all very well to be a scrambler and a retriever, but if you are going to get the ball back, make sure you get it back into a place far away from your opponent’s racquet. Azarenka had been doing just that happily and it was working a treat.
But by the second set, Stephens was making a better fist of things. She got a break of serve. She may have dropped her serve a couple of games later, but she was not going to go quietly. And then Azarenka started to wobble. Two double faults in a row cost her her serve and she screamed in fury.
This, it transpired, was a key moment and we will return to it later, but on with the story.
Stephens immediately dropped her serve, leaving the defending champion four points away from the final. Serve it out, Vika, and you are home and hosed. But she couldn’t. Five match points came and went until finally, Stephens broke again. Gulp. It was now 5-4 and the American teenager had the chance to serve to stay in the match. At which point, Azarenka called for the trainer and after a brief assessment, left the court for treatment.
Nine minutes later, she was back and as Stephens’ serve faltered again, Azarenka was through to the final on her sixth match point.
And that is when all hell broke loose.
Asked in her on-court interview why she had left the court and how she was feeling now, Azarenka opened a can of worms.
“I almost did the choke of the year right now,” she said. “At 5-3, having so many chances and I couldn't close it out. I was a bit overwhelmed realising I was one step away from the final. Nerves got into me, for sure."
That was when the Twitterers, the Facebookers and the bloggers went wild. Surely this was blatant gamesmanship? Leaving the court because you are choking?
As it turned out, Azarenka claimed that she was literally choking. She could not breathe. A rib and back problem had been bothering her for a couple for days and suddenly got worse during the second set, round about the time when she dropped her serve in the seventh game.
“I'm telling you what happened right now honestly, that my back was bothering me,” she said in her post-match press conference.
“It took me too long of a time to call the trainer, which was my mistake. I took it to the point where I couldn't breathe, which was causing from my back problem, and I couldn't really figure out what was going on on the court. When the trainer told me that was the rib that was blocking that, my back, that's what happened.
“When you cannot breathe you start to panic. I was really panicking, not because I couldn't convert my match point. That's not the case. I mean, I'm experienced enough to go over those emotions. But when you cannot breathe, when something's really blocking you, the stress, that was the stress I was talking about. I just couldn't realise what was going on with me.”
As for her response to the on-court interview question by Channel 7’s Sam Smith, she felt that was a simple misunderstanding.
“I think I just really misunderstood what she asked me because the question was I had few difficulties and why I went off,” Azarenka explained.
“I completely thought of a different thing, why I couldn't close out of match, you know, that I had few difficulties. So I understand the whole situation right now, but it just really simple misunderstanding of a question.”
So Azarenka lives to fight another day, and Stephens is heading for the airport. But the American will be back. Her ranking ought to move up to No.17 in the world, and with the confidence and experience she has gained from her run here, she will head for Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows with a new spring in her step. In the meantime, Azarenka has Li Na to face on Saturday.

In perhaps the best match she’s played in a year and a half, China’s Li Na crushed No. 2 Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-2 on Thursday to move into the Australian Open final for the second time in her career.
In an astonishing display of all-round power and know how, Li never allowed the free-swinging Russian to gain a toehold in the match, consistently attacking her taller foe with well-placed serves, huge returns and lethal groundstrokes.
The 30-year-old said it was as perfectly as she has ever played.
“After 20 years, first time in my life,” she said.
“Beginning of the match, I was nervous. I was happy I come back to semis again, but for some reason I really want to win the match. I don't know what happened today. Just come to the court, feeling like, ‘Okay, just do it’.”
Li finished the one hour and 33 minute contest with 21 winners to 18 unforced errors, and she forced Sharapova into 21 errors.
For her part, 2012 finalist Sharapova could never find her rhythm and finished with just 17 winners and 32 unforced errors, while forcing Li into 23 errors.
Given that Sharapova had only lost nine games in five matches coming into the contest, she was considered a heavy favorite by some, but Li has been playing extremely well since the summer began, winning the title in Shenzhen, reaching the semis in Sydney and, in Melbourne, taking out three successive seeded players without losing a set: Sorana Cirstea, Julia Goerges and Agnieszka Radwanska, who was undefeated on the season entering their quarterfinal.
Li had lost her last three matches to Sharapova entering Thursday’s semifinal, but with new coach Carlos Rodriguez, the former coach of Justine Henin, in her corner, she played a very smart match. The Chinese frequently hit behind Sharapova, stretching her way out on her forehand side so that she couldn’t generate enough power, and feasting on every second serve that she could.
Li, who reached the Australian Open final two years ago, won 18 of the Russian’s 24 second serve points.
“Maybe like before I was angry or something,” Li said.
“Start this year, I try to cool down on the court. Like Hollywood. You don't have to show opponent what are you thinking. A little bit like Hollywood, but not real.”
Irrespective of whether she had the proper strategy or not, Li had to execute on the big points, and that she did, breaking Sharapova five times, and defending six of the seven break points on her own serve.
Sharapova fought gamely in the second set in trying to turn the match around, but the sixth seed broke her to 3-2 when Sharapova erred on a backhand, and then she failed to break Li in the next game when holding a break point when her foe ripped a backhand winner.
Li broke Sharapova to 5-2 when the Australian Open 2008 champion committed three straight unforced errors. She then efficiently closed the contest out with a 160km/h ace before Sharapova committed an unforced backhand error.
The 2011 Roland Garros winner will play the defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the final.
“I mean, 2011, first time to the Grand Slam final, I was a little bit shocked because I didn't know what I should do,” Li said.
“Also, no one tell me what I should do on the court. But this time I got more experience, so I think should be better.”

Roger Federer has progressed to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the 10th consecutive year, the No.2 seed outlasting Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 in their quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
The four-time Australian champion advanced to meet world No.3 Andy Murray, a straight-sets winner over Jeremy Chardy earlier on Wednesday.
The free-swinging Tsonga came alive in the fourth set after Federer had won two of the first three sets in tense tiebreaks, breaking the No.2 seed twice and blasting 17 winners to set up a decider.
Games went on serve in the final set until the fourth game, when an unforced Tsonga backhand error handed Federer a break and a 3-1 lead.
The Swiss didn’t look back after that as Tsonga’s unforced error count skyrocketed, holding for 5-2 with a deft forehand volley. Tsonga saved four match points on serve in the eighth game, but that only delayed the inevitable, Federer needing just one chance on serve to close it out. He finished in style with a smash to end the contest in three hours and 34 minutes.
It was Federer’s first five-set match in Melbourne since the second round of the 2011 tournament, when he defeated another Frenchman, Gilles Simon.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has fallen in the semifinals in Melbourne for the last two years. The 31-year-old last won the tournament in 2010, defeating Tsonga in the semifinals along the way.


Novak survives steely Stan
Monday, 21 January, 2013

Leave it to Novak Djokovic to be involved in another dramatic spectacle. In one of the most thrilling contests played at Melbourne Park in the past decade, the two-time defending champion edged an inspired Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7(5) 12-10 in a five hour and two minute marathon to move into the quarterfinals.
It was a heroic effort by both men in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena that ended at 1.41am on Monday morning. The top seed managed to repel the pumped-up Swiss, who dictated play for much of the match with brilliant shot-making.
But while Wawrinka wowed the spectators with his wondrous one-handed backhand, booming serves and rolling topspin forehands, it was Djokovic who once again dug deep on the court where he has had the most success.
“Well, I'm just pleased to be part of that era, just pleased to be part of those matches where you push yourself up to the last drop of your energy,” Djokovic said.
“I'm very glad to be a winner of another marathon.”
In winning his third Australian Open last year, the strong-legged Serbian won back-to-back five-setters in the semifinals over Andy Murray and in the final over Rafael Nadal. But those were against two of his primary rivals in the sport, and not against a man who has tried so hard to transform himself into an elite player.
On Sunday night and Monday morning in Melbourne, Wawrinka was that elite player, and deserved just as much attention as his more famous countryman, Roger Federer.
“I always knew he has a quality,” Djokovic said.
“He has ability to beat the best players in the world, and he has proven that on several occasions on different surfaces. He's using that power and the serve. He's really moving well over the court. He's reading the game. So he came up with great tactics today.”
Even though he played a brilliant first set, Wawrinka could not consolidate a 5-2 lead in the second set and keep his foot on Djokovic’s throat. But he did not collapse after losing five straight games to drop the second set and then when he lost the third.
Wawrinka, who held a 2-11 record against the Serbian entering the match, punched his way into the fourth set tiebreaker, and even though Djokovic came hard when down 3-6 by ripping two forehand winners, Wawrinka stood tall and won it with a whipping forehand of his own down the line.
The two knew going into the fifth set that they would have to push their bodies to the limits and beyond, and they did so. Wawrinka cramped on and off throughout the set and had an opportunity when he was ahead 4-3 and held four break points, but Djokovic pulled off a sweet drop shot, Wawrinka made two groundstroke errors and the Serbian then put away a backhand volley.
There would be no more break points after that until the 16-point final game, when Wawrinka fought off two match points, the first with a 200km/h ace and the second with an incredible backhand down the line when it looked like he was barely moving. But on the final point, Wawrinka pushed Djokovic all over the court and looked like he was going to win the point when he forced Djokovic to stab back two backhands, but after he hit a low slice approach shot, Djokovic somehow scooped it up and flipped a backhand crosscourt pass to win the contest. The final set alone lasted an hour and 44 minutes.
“I think it's by far my best match I ever play, especially in five sets against the No. 1 player,” said the 15th-seeded Wawrinka.
“Especially I was dealing with myself all the five hours, trying to always find solutions, trying to always fight against me and against him to stay with him. At the end I was really, really close. For sure I'm really sad. But I think there is more positive than negative.”
The two warmly embraced at the net before Djokovic tore his shirt off and roared to his box, just like he did when he bested Nadal last year in their five hour and 53 minute classic.
“I just had flashback of 2012 in the finals,” Djokovic said. “It was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but still it was still as exciting. I tried to perform my best, enjoy the moment, be in the present, and couldn't ask for more. What a match point. Unbelievable.”
Djokovic will play fifth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, and believes he’s in good enough shape to make another title run.
“I’ve been in those situations before,” he said.
“I remember when I won against Murray in the semis after five hours, and then played against Rafa almost six hours. I know I can recover. I know I have it in me.”

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