Great posts, Jacko - well done for winning the thrilling match against Del Potro!
I had 2 final tournaments to play in 2007. I started off by heading to Paris Masters where I won my opening match 6-3, 6-3 against Andre Sa (who pushed me to 5 sets at Wimbledon), but lost in R3 against Radek Stepanek 4-6, 5-7.
Then I played the World Tour Finals/Masters Cup (2007):
RR: Zeiner def. Blake: 7-6, 7-6 - a very close match. No-one lost a point on their serve until the tiebreak! I won the 1st set 7-5 in the tie-break, then was 1-4 down in 2nd set but recoverd and won in another tie-break
RR: Nadal def. Zeiner 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 - Nadal played much better now and broke very late in the set to win it 7-5. His level dropped and I broke immediately to move into a 3-0 lead, then broke again with a huge FH DTL winner for 5-0, then served out the set 6-1. In the 3rd set, I had 3 break points at 3-3, but missed all of them, then Nadal had match point at 5-6, 30-40 and I served a double fault :angry: Nadal gets his 2nd win over me at last (and is getting better heading into 2008)
RR: Davydenko def. Zeiner 6-3, 6-4 - routine win for Davydenko. My form drops off towards the end of the season, and I lost points here, but still finish the year ranked No. 1 (300 or so points ahead of Federer)!
Then the beginning of my 2008 Season!
I had chance to train my skills more and comeback refreshed with my new all-black outfit!
2008 Sydney International: (I won in 2005, 2006, 2007)
R2: Zeiner def. Haas - 6-1, 6-1
QF: Zeiner def. Korolev - 6-0, 6-0
SF: Zeiner def. Hewitt - 6-2, 6-1
F: Zeiner def. Blake - 6-4, 6-1 - All in all, a fantastic tournament for me as I dropped only 10 games and won my 4th consecutive Sydney title! I now once again head into the Australian Open as the heavy favourite, looking for my 4th AO title and 6th Slam
2008 Australian Open:
R1: Zeiner def. Vanek - 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 - Comfortable opening as I hit 10 aces and 30 winners
R2: Zeiner def. Darcis - 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 - Darcis was not playing well, too many errors and I won easily
R3: Zeiner def. Gasquet - 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 - Gasquet gave me very tough match in China last year, but I played a great match. Very confident start to get to 5-0 (double break lead). In 2nd set, at 1-1, I played a great return game and broke to love then raced through the set. At 2-5, 15-40 on Gasquet serve in 3rd set, I had 2 match points and converted the 1st one with a nice dropshot
R4: Zeiner def. Almagro - 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 - Definitely the best match of the tournament for me, probably best match ever. I broke Almagro 8 times (3 in set 1, 2 in set 2, 3 in set 3), served at 75% 1st serves in, hit 36 winners and just 5 unforced errors! I marched into the Quarter Finals for the loss of only 11 games (did not drop a set)
QF: Zeiner def. Tsonga - 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 - I think this was my first ever meeting with Tsonga, and I played very well. He actually led 1-3 in the first set, but I broke him back and broke again after he served 3 double faults in 1 game. He never recovered and I ran away with the win again.
SF: Zeiner def. Djokovic - 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 - I thought this would be a very tough match. Djokovic broke me in the very first game (I played a loose game) for 1-0, but I broke back immediately. Djoko then had 6 break points in the 7th game at 3-3, but I managed to save all of them, then I broke in the 10th game to take the first set 6-4. I raced through set 2 and then found myself serving for the match at 5-4 in set 3 after breaking Djokovic again! I won with an ace and reached another AO final against Federer.
F: Zeiner def. Federer - 7-5, 7-6, 7-5 - Fantastic match from me: I broke at 6-5 to win the first set 7-5. Federer then broke me immediately in the 2nd set and served for the set at 5-3. He had set point at 40-30, but I managed to save it with a passing shot, then I broke back and levelled up at 5-5. The set went into a tie-break, where I found myself 0-4 down, but once again recovered to take the tie-break 9-7, saving 1 more set point! I then led 5-2 in set 3 before being pegged back to 5-5, but then held serve for 6-5. I hit 2 return winners for 0-30, then Federer mishit a forehand to bring up 3 Championship Points. I only needed one, which I sealed with a memorable BH passing shot!
I won my 4th consecutive Australian Open Title, and did not drop a set! Definitely my most dominant performance in a Grand Slam
Because of this win, I hold on to my No. 1 ranking for now, but have more Masters titles to defend later in the season. I have still not lost a set in 2008 matches so far, we'll see how much longer this good form continues!