Why do so many people hate Melbourne

No barty party in Melbourne

All tennis players know that, really everyone. It's one of those situations that you hate and after which you would like to dump the racket on eBay. The following situation: You are clearly leading in the match, you score almost every point, for example you are 6: 1, 2: 0 ahead and you are almost in the shower. And then things go wrong. Fooled.

To then - just lose

The local hero Ashleigh Barty had such a failed day in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open against the Czech Karolina Muchova. And it was not only due to the rather manageable successes of Ms. Muchova that hardly anyone among the observers of the tournament had expected this result. But it was also because: Barty was leading 6: 1, 2: 0, as usual, running back and forth on the baseline faster than the ball could fly and, above all, made clear to the opponent with her longer and longer backhand slice who should win here that day. To then - just lose.

Won what nobody expected: the Czech Karolina Muchova

Whereby - it wasn't easy. Because on a hot summer day in Melbourne, the game became increasingly torture. The fact that Muchova took a medical break from time to time could maliciously be counted as a tactical aid. Her head turned, said the 24-year-old. She had her blood pressure and temperature measured, was given ice to cool her off, and left the place. After a ten-minute break, the number 27 in the world rankings came back to the stadium.

With the Australian on the other hand, nothing came together afterwards. And in the end, the 24-year-old local hero left the field with a hanging head and a 6: 1, 3: 6, 2: 6. The 2019 French Open winner gave away the chance of her premiere title at the home Grand Slam and the first tournament victory of an Australian in Melbourne since Chris O'Neil in 1978. Who knows how euphoric the Australians are when it comes to tennis who can imagine what would have happened if Barty had won a tournament "Down Under". From the semi-finals onwards, spectators are allowed to enter the facility again, and the corona lockdown in Melbourne is relaxed accordingly.

The love-hate relationship

As I said: every tennis player knows that. Some want to stop afterwards and give the love-hate relationship tennis the pass. With Barty, the risk is relatively low. First, because she is not known for being nervous and knows that in this damned game, defeat is the rule in and of itself. And secondly, because she gave up playing tennis once before. As a 17-year-old she retired once and then made her comeback as a professional cricket player with the Brisbane Heat. After that she was spotted very successfully at golf tournaments. Until she finally found her way back to the tennis court. In the meantime she has made it to the top of the world. Probably only because there was no other piece of sports equipment in the way.

Just almost won wasn't enough for him either: Rafael Nadal, the defeat in mind

Whether the brave Karoline Muchova will experience such days again first against the US player Jennifer Brady in the semifinals and then possibly against the winner of the game Serena Williams / Naomi Osaka would at least be surprising. But you know that in tennis. You can also ask Rafael Nadal. He gave everything in his 6: 3, 6.2, 6: 7, 4: 6 and 5: 7 defeat in the quarter-finals against the young savage Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece. Even Nadal was almost the winner on the way to the shower in the third set. Nearly.