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2 Responses to ao81kriek_denton

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 31-17, 45-36, 46-51, 34-25 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    29 % Kriek – 39 of 134
    29 % Denton – 45 of 151

    The match was played on January 3rd, 1982. Denton [54] was considered one of the top five servers in the early 80s. However, playing his first final at the age of 25, he was visibly nervous and committed three consecutive double faults at 0:2. Facing a 0:5* (15/30) deficit, Denton managed to win a rally with a powerful smash, which helped ease the tension. In the 2nd set, Kriek made two consecutive double faults at a crucial moment, bringing Denton just two points away from leveling the match at one set apiece as he led 5:4* (deuce). However, Kriek rallied back to win the set in a 7/1 tie-break. As the match approached its potential conclusion, Kriek grew increasingly nervous and was bothered by small flies that were buzzing around. Perhaps due to this distraction, he failed to convert any of his four match points while leading 5:4* (Denton saved the first one with a BH volley, and the next three with strong serves). The second tie-break was also consisted of eight points, but this time it was the underdog Denton who won seven of them. Before the start of the 4th set, both players took a toilet break which lasted ten minutes! After the break, Kriek regained his composure in a new attire, breaking Denton’s serve to take a 4:3 lead. Trailing 3:5, Denton saved two more match points and a seventh one in the following game when Kriek mishit a high forehand volley. Finally, on the eighth championship point, Denton hit a wide backhand approach shot, securing victory for the fourth-seeded Kriek, who uniquely celebrated his first of two Australian Open triumphs, bowing to his opponent. “It’s incredible for a guy to come back and win seven match points – it shows he’s not just a great doubles player,” Kriek remarked about his resilient opponent. He also acknowledged the support he received from coach Bob Brett, stating, “He’s really done a great job, and it’s good to have someone like him to keep your confidence up.” Eight championship points required to win a major will be overcome by Kuerten 18 years later as he needs 11 to defeat Norman.

    Kriek’s route to his 4th title:
    1 Drew Gitlin 6-2, 7-5, 6-1
    2 Thomas Hogstedt 6-2, 6-4, 7-6
    3 Chris Lewis 7-5, 7-5, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4
    Q Tim Mayotte 7-6, 6-3, 7-5
    S Mark Edmondson 6-0, 7-6, 7-5
    W Steve Denton 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-7(1), 6-4

  2. Voo de Mar says:
    Prior to the Australian Open ’81, Denton hadn’t even won a Grand Slam match (!) – that year he lost in the first round of Wimbledon & US Open, his first two majors. En route to the final he won four out of five matches in five-setters.

    In the Australian Open ’82 they face each other again in the final (!), Kriek wins his second and last major title, in that edition his path to the title is easier overall

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