I didn’t have great luck with my predictions on Day 1 but in my defense, it was a while since we saw them play a Grand Slam (especially given the hectic tennis calendar). Nonetheless, I’ve had better luck since and am here with my predictions for the final weekend.
Mixed Doubles Final: (Sunday, 31st January, 2010)
Ekaterina Makarova and Jaroslav Levinsky vs. Cara Black and Leander Paes
The unseeded Europeans come up against the top-seeded pair in this final. Black and Paes had a tough semifinal and at many times looked like they could be out of it, but came through after two tough tiebreaks and a super tiebreak. In sharp contrast, Makarova and Levinsky cruised through the first set without dropping a game, lost the second set and came back strong to win the super tiebreak 10-8. It’s a tough call between the two, but I think the pair from India/Zimbabwe will pull through, if only on experience.
Prediction: Black and Paes in the super tie break.
Men’s Doubles Final: (Saturday, 30th January, 2010 following ladies' singles)
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan vs. Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic
Both the ladies and the men’s doubles finals have the No. 1 and 2 teams facing off. On the ladies side, it was the No. 2 pair Williams sisters winning it, but it may be a different story here. The Bryan brothers are high on confidence in their first Grand Slam tournament since they regained their No. 1 ranking, and they’re hungry to hold on to it. Both teams had tough quarterfinals, making it through on tie breaks, but the Bryans did it a little bit better. They should be adequately rested for this final though, having relatively simple semi finals. It’ll be interesting to see who takes the first set, as it may set the tone of the match.
Prediction: The Bryans in the three tough-fought sets.
Ladies Singles Final: (Saturday, 30th January, 2010)
1930 Melbourne Time, 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Serena Williams vs. Justine Henin
The wildcard Justine Henin has shown the true spirit of the game. Coming back after her 20-month self imposed exile, Henin is in already in her second consecutive championship match. On the way to the Aussie Open Final this year, she has claimed the scalps of Jie Zheng, Elena Dementieva (in the second round, no less), Yanina Wickmayer and Nadia Petrova (who took out the reigning US Open queen Kim Clijsters). She’s toiled through some of them, used tact through others, but in her semifinal match against Zheng she used sheer class and brilliance and walked all over her opponent 6-1 6-0, not dropping a single game after the opener.