Danielle Elliot

  • Djokovic's dominance continues, wins 11th Grand Slam title

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 12 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia - Novak Djokovic left no room to question his dominance on Sunday night. The 28-year-old Serbian defeated No. 2 Andy Murray in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, 7-6, en route to his third-straight Grand Slam title and 11th overall. 

    This is his sixth Australian Open title, a record among the men's singles field. Four of those six have come against Murray.

    Djokovic has now won 21-straight matches in Grand Slams, dating back to the start of Wimbledon last year. He only lost one Grand Slam match in 2015, when Stan Wawrinka beat him in the French Open final. The only thing missing from Djokovic's trophy case is that elusive French Open crown.

    Murray was playing in his fifth Australian Open title. The two-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic gold medalist told the media Friday that he knew he had a huge task ahead of him, but anything could happen in any given match. Djokovic was 21-9 in their career head-to-head and had won 10 of his last 11 matches against the Scot, but Murray had twice beaten him in a major final. 

    An emotional Murray mentioned the difficulty of the week as he thanked the crowd on Sunday night. 

  • Angelique Kerber takes her celebratory swim in the Yarra

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 12 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – In 1991, Australian Open champion Boris Becker celebrated his victory buy jumping in the river that runs right along the road lining the Australian Open grounds. The next two years champion Jim Courier and his coach took their own dives into the murky waters. It's been a tradition for champions ever since.

    So as promised @AngeliqueKerber jumped in Yarra River Victoria. #TeamAngie pic.twitter.com/gcIOpzm5uX

    Some just stand along the river bank posing with their trophies. Angelique Kerber, who defeated Serena Williams in an major upset on Saturday night to win her first Grand Slam title, woke up Sunday morning and followed Becker's lead. 

    She did it! Step aside Jim Courier, @AngeliqueKerber is coming through. #AusOpen #YarraRiver pic.twitter.com/yVvZDoDiDJ

  • Andy Murray shows up to celebrate brother Jamie's title

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 12 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia - Asked if he'd watch his brother Jamie Murray compete for the men's doubles title, men's singles finalist Andy Murray said he would not. It would be too stressful, he said. He'd settle for looking at the final results online.

    Andy seemed to be staying true to his word as Jamie and doubles partner Bruno Soares win their first Grand Slam title. But as the trophy ceremony started, Andy appeared in the players' box. 

    Reminding your younger brother it's way past his bedtime like https://t.co/gADFHYNShG

    "Andy, you should be in bed, but we'll be in bed to support you tomorrow," Jamie joked during his speech on court. Their mother, Judy Murray, had already flown home to Scotland, to attend to U.K. Fed Cup team responsibilities. But she, too, was awake for the win. 

    Oh brother. #AusOpen@andy_murray @jamie_murray pic.twitter.com/mnoyv7JBLp

  • Serena: 'I'm not a robot'

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 12 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams showed pure class after losing to Angelique Kerber in Saturday night's final. She smiled for the cameras. She hugged Kerber. She talked about being happy for the new champion.

    It was an unexpected loss, but these things happen. In her news conference, she asked that everyone stop assuming she's perfect. 

    "I think I did the best I could today. Would I give my performance an A? No. But this is all I could produce today," the 21-time Grand Slam champion said to the media. 

    "Every time I walk in this room I'm expected to win. I'm not a robot. I do the best that I can. I try to win every point but realistically I can't. Maybe someone else can."

    If there is any silver lining to this loss for Williams, perhaps it's that this year she'll won't have to face the constant buzz that comes with the potential of winning a calendar year Grand Slam. 

  • Kerber helps countrywoman Graf stay solo at the top of tennis

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 13 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Angelique Kerber shocked the tennis world Saturday night as the first-time Grand Slam finalist defeated 21-time champion Serena Williams. Williams had never lost an Australian Open final. She's gone to three sets in eight previous finals, and won every time. 

    All signs pointed to Williams winning her 22nd title on Saturday night, but after 2 hours, 8 minutes, it was Kerber hoisting the trophy on court at Rod Laver Arena. She is the first German player to win a Grand Slam in this century – and by winning, she protected fellow German Steffi Graf's record for most Grand Slams in the Open Era. Had Williams won, she would have been tied with Graf at the top. 

    Graf messaged Kerber after her semifinal win on Thursday. If she'd messaged her again Saturday, Kerber wasn't aware. At her press conference, which started nearly two hours after the match ended, Kerber had her phone plugged into the wall. 

    "My phone, it's charging there," she said. "So I don't know I was just able to call my mom, my parents, my grandparents, and that's it. So I have no idea." 

  • Serena Williams falls short in Australian Open final

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 13 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Angelique Kerber had the support of the crowd at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night. After just more than two hours on court, she also had the Australian Open title.

    Kerber defeated No. 1 Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It is Kerber's first Grand Slam title, and the first for a German player in this century. 

    Kerber, who at 28 and in her 14th year on tour was playing in her first Grand Slam final, opened the match by breaking the 21-time champion's serve, then held to put Williams in a 2-0 hole. She left too many shots suspended in Kerber's reach, and Kerber placed winners just inside the lines. 

    Williams showed vintage form in the second, playing the aggressive style that had helped her advance this far without dropping a set in the fortnight. The match went to a deciding third. 

    The crowd went wild as Kerber broke Williams in the first game of the set. There was far less applause when Williams broke right back. 

    It was odd to hear the stadium so in favor of Kerber. Australian tennis fans are famous for loving the underdog – but Williams has long said this is a stadium where she feels the most love. 

  • Murray marches on to face Djokovic in Australian Open final

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 14 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia - When the underdog opens a semi-final match with a break to love against the world No. 2, the energy in Rod Laver Arena suddenly shifts. Friday night the crowd was about evenly split between those supporting Milos Raonic, the 25-year-old Canadian playing in his second career major semi-finals, and supporters of 18-time major semi-finalist Andy Murray. 

    Those with maple leafs painted across their faces and Canadian flags draped over their shoulders were downright giddy to see Raonic open the match by breaking Murray's serve.

    Those sporting kilts and Scottish flags sat stunned. Every "Let's go Andy, let's go" was quickly answered with the same calls for Raonic, the youngest of the four semi-finalists the youngest at the Australian Open since Djokovic reached the semis at age 24. 

    The second stayed on serve through 11 games. After two missed opportunities, Murray finally earned his break. He timed it perfect at 5-6, giving him the set 7-5 and turning the match into a best-of-three. Murray had five unforced errors in the set, a quarter of Raonic's 20. 

  • Federer's last shot was his best shot

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 15 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Sometimes a single shot gets an entire stadium on its feet. Federer had one of those on Thursday night. The point came with Federer serving to even the fourth set at 4-4. He trailed 2-1 overall in the match. He needed this hold. After dropping himself into a 0-30 hole in the game, he'd won a point to 15-30.

    He couldn't afford to go down 15-40. And when you can't afford to lose a single point, you manage to cover a lot more of the court. Have a look: 

    THAT point...you know which one we're talking about! #AusOpen #SCTop10 - https://t.co/BUeEOnmJxo

    Point of the tournament? #AusOpen (via @Dimonator) pic.twitter.com/0MGnnkacbq

    Asked later about the shot, Federer smirked. "Top 100," he said. "It was a nice point and a great ovation. I was very happy I got as much support as I did. It was a cool moment," he added.

     

  • Farewell Federer: Djokovic moves on to Australian Open final

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 15 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia - Early in the second set on Thursday night, a fan let Roger Federer know exactly how he felt about the 17-time Grand Slam champion's performance.

    "Three-hundred dollars for tickets tonight, Roger!" the fan yelled from the stands. Those $300 earned the guy a chance to see Novak Djokovic trounce all over Federer for the first two sets. So much for a heated rivalry.

    Djokovic, 28, closed out a 6-1 first set in just 22 minutes. The next lasted 10 minutes and one game longer. The man who has won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other looked like a newcomer in those 54 minutes, incaple of answering Djokovic's commanding serve or deep winners.

    Djokovic won 91 percent of his first-serve points in the first set, 86 percent in the second and converted four of his five break-point opportunities. He hit 17 winners to Federer's 11. The most telling statistic, though, was unforced errors: with 24, Federer committed four times as many as Djokovic. 

    In the eighth game, Federer fell into a 0-30 hole on serve. He battled back again, outlasting Djokovic in a phenomenal rally to even it at 30-30.

  • Serena Williams advances to 7th Australian Open final

    Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 15 days ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams was a force to be reckoned with as she finally tasted victory on Thursday. Three ferocious serves – ace, ace, ace – sealed with a forehand winner at the net, and she was on to her seventh Australian Open final by defeating No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-4. 

    Williams has never lost an Australian Open final, where she'll face first-time finalist Angelique Kerber. Kerber defeated Johanna Konta later Thursday, 7-5, 6-2.

    Williams played an insanely quick first set, needing only 20 minutes to hand Radwanska the bagel. "I was able to do everything I needed to do. I was really hitting just all the right shots, making little to no errors," she said later.

    The world No. 1 carried her momentum into the second set, breaking Radwanska in the third game for a 2-1 advantage. Radwanska earned her only break of the match as Williams committed four unforced errors in the sixth game of that set. That was nearly a quarter of her 17 throughout an impressively clean match.