WOODY’S MEM­O­RIES OF OPEN MAGIC

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - By Shan­non Mol­loy

AN­OTHER spec­tac­u­lar sum­mer of ten­nis is about to come to an end, capped off with the Aus­tralian Open fi­nals.

And once again, for­mer pro turned com­men­ta­tor Todd Wood­bridge will be in the broad­cast box, bring­ing mil­lions of tele­vi­sion view­ers all the ac­tion live.

Here, he re­counts his top three thrilling mo­ments from Aus­tralian Open fi­nals his­tory.

1988: PAT CASH vs MATS WI­LAN­DER

“Ev­ery­one was long­ing for an Aus­tralian win,” Wood­bridge re­calls.

“I was a young kid – 17 years old, I think. I ac­tu­ally played the Open that year for the first time. I got a wild­card. So I was sit­ting in the play­ers’ seats to watch that fi­nal live.”

It was the first Grand Slam Wood­bridge had seen up close and per­sonal. And it was a marathon – five sets. In the end, Cash was de­feated.

“As a young player, I got so much mo­ti­va­tion from that match.”

2009: RAFAEL NADAL vs ROGER FED­ERER

When Rafa took on Fed­erer, there were few peo­ple not watch­ing.

“That was epic,” Wood­bridge says. “Those two were just at the ab­so­lute height of their pow­ers at that stage. They dom­i­nated the sport.

“For Rafa, that was his first Aus­tralian Open win and I think it marked a real turn­around in the ri­valry be­tween him and Roger, where he started to over­take him.”

2011: KIM CLI­JSTERS vs LI NA

This marked the first time Wood­bridge com­men­tated an Aus­tralian Open fi­nals, but it was the on court ac­tion that made it so mem­o­rable.

“Li Na played an amaz­ing, amaz­ing match but Kim was just about to come through,” he says. “When you’re watch­ing some­thing spe­cial like that, the less-is-more style of com­men­tary is best. You let the magic speak for it­self.”

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