WOODY’S MEMORIES OF OPEN MAGIC
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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