Sunday, January 29, 2012

Djokovic/Nadal Barely Upright After Heroic Final

Nadal - defeated and empty
After a 5 hour and 53 minute heavyweight slugfest, Novak Djokovic eventually triumphed over Rafael Nadal in the men's singles final of the Australian Open (5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5).

The nearly six-hour match, which ended near 2:00 am local time in Melbourne, clocked in as the longest grand slam final in history.

With the win, Djokovic secured his fifth grand slam title and cemented his place at the top of the men's game, while Nadal, despite a brilliant effort, is now the first man to lose three consecutive major finals.

To gain a better idea of the physical toll taken on these athletes during a five-set, six-hour tennis match, check out this short video clip of the post-match trophy presentation ceremony. Both men, clearly exhausted, begin to stretch, cramp, and nearly collapse, in what appears to be (for Nadal at least) sheer agony, before an intelligent and thoughtful tournament official provides relief around the 3:05 mark in the clip.

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