Simon Graf, the author of one of the best books about Roger Federer had recently spoken about the great Swiss and his career. Mentioning the 2009 Australian Open final, Graf said that Roger ruined Rafael Nadal's title celebration after falling into tears, although he understands how disappointed Roger was following that heavy loss.
Nadal's only Melbourne trophy came in 2009, and he had to leave his 120% to lift the trophy, spending almost ten hours on the court against Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer. With almost nothing left in the tank, Rafa got himself together in the deciding set against his most significant rival to celebrate the first Major crown on hard court and the third title in the previous four Major events!
In the semis, Rafa ousted the fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 after five hours and ten minutes, in one of the most extraordinary encounters at Melbourne Park! Nadal won one point more than Verdasco, served well and got broken twice from only four break chances offered to his compatriot.
On the other hand, Verdasco gave everything to stay in touch with the world's leading player, repelling 16 out of 20 break chances and pushing Rafa to the limits all the time. The older Spaniard fired almost 100 winners and over 60 unforced errors, overpowering Rafa in the more extended exchanges but losing ground in the shortest ones up to four strokes.
Nadal had to endure another marathon en route to the title, despite barely having anything left in his body! The three-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer stood between Nadal and the sixth Major crown, with two great rivals facing each other for the first time at Melbourne Park.
The encounter turned into an open war between the world's most outstanding players, with Nadal scoring a memorable 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory in four hours and 19 minutes to lift the trophy.
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer in five sets at the Australian Open 2009.
The Spaniard had little time to recover following the semi-final clash, but he gave his best to make a good start against Roger and find the remaining pieces of strength left in his body to cross the finish line first and write history books.
Federer won one point more than Nadal, but not those that mattered the most in the decider, losing serve seven times and converting six out of 19 break chances. Roger stayed in touch with Rafa in the more extended points, but it wasn't enough to carry him home, losing ground in the final set and allowing Rafa to sprint over the top and celebrate the title.
"Roger was just very upset after losing that final. I think he wasted a big chance to win the title, and he should have taken that match. Nadal had a tough semi-final match against Verdasco, and Federer should have been fresher.
Still, that wasn't the case in the fifth set. It was too bad that he burst into tears because he kind of destroyed the moment for Rafa, for which there has been quite some criticism. It's just how he is; he's an emotional guy.
I don't think he's a great loser; he hates losing. He had to learn how to lose after being dethroned and starting to lose more often," Simon Graf said.