© Ella Ling

Australian Open scoreboard

A fortnight in Melbourne Park: review by numbers


353 – Time, in minutes, that it took Novak Djokovic to defeat Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open. It was the longest grand slam final in history, and the longest ever match at the Australian Open. The match finished at 1.37am.

80 – Time, in minutes, that it took Rafael Nadal to take the first set against Novak Djokovic.

82 – Time, in minutes, that it took Victoria Azarenka to beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 to win her first grand slam title and become the world number one.

25 – Time, in seconds, that it took Marcos Baghdatis, a former finalist, to obliterate four rackets during his second-round defeat to Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. Such was Baghdatis’s urgent need to break and destroy, he did not bother removing the cellophane wrapper on the fourth of those. If the umpire had not called ‘time’ to signify the end of the changeover, the Greek Cypriot could have cleared himself out of frames. “Wow, that’s impressive,” Serena Williams said when she heard. Baghdatis was fined 800 US dollars.

5 – The number of police officers who were waiting outside Bernard Tomic’s house for the teenager to emerge. The Australian had apparently been revving the engine of his orange BMW at pedestrians. “They’ve given me three tickets and one officer feels like he wants to get me and it’s not a good feeling. It has all happened on Australia Day when I’m trying to have fun with my mates. I don’t know what is happening – something is really wrong. I don’t know what I’m doing, it’s like I’ve killed somebody.”

94.3 – In decibels, the loudest grunt of the women’s final, achieved by Maria Sharapova (according to the Whoo-meter used by the host broadcaster, Channel 7). “Listening to Sharapova on court is like putting your ear up to an underground train. As pleasant as traffic,” said the Melbourne Age. Giles Smith, writing in The Times, offered this solution: “A clear, fishbowl-shaped Perspex tennis helmet. Worn at all times by the noisier players, the helmet would entirely retain grunting – or, at any rate, muffle it to an acceptable level. At the same time, the device could offer 360-degree visibility while being next to invisible to the naked eye – or certainly from the upper tiers – and, fashioned using today’s ultra-lightweight and easy-clean plastics, it would represent virtually no encumbrance at all to the player wearing it. A set of drilled holes at the back of the helmet would ensure continued airflow without significant consequences for sound retention and the player would be free to groan, shriek, whine and generally imitate a seagull with gut-rot.”

290 – The length, in minutes, of Novak Djokovic’s semi-final victory over Andy Murray. It was the longest match of Murray’s life, and arguably the finest performance of his career. “I’m proud of the way I fought,” Murray said. 

8,000 – The amount, in dollars, that David Nalbandian was fined after allegedly tipping water over a doctor, a crime which the Argentine has denied. The incident came after Nalbandian’s second-round defeat to America’s John Isner, a match which had seen a controversial umpire’s decision go against the South American. “To go ahead with this fine they are carrying out two injustices. One on and the other off the court. I’m going to appeal the fine,” said Nalbandian, who is in third position in The Tennis Space’s list of the serial offenders in men’s tennis. “I strongly deny throwing water. While he found me washing my hands during the anti-doping test, unbelievably the doctor in charge accused me of throwing water at him.”

2.3 million – The amount, in Australian dollars, awarded to each of the singles champions, Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka. That is 1.56 million pounds, or 2.45 million US dollars, making it the largest prize in the history of the sport. 
1.15 million – The amount, in Australian dollars, awarded to the beaten finalists in the singles, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova. That is 780,000 pounds, or 1.22 million US dollars.

5 – Time, in seconds, after the completion of the men’s singles final that some started complaining about equal prize-money.

3 – Successive defeats in grand slam finals for Rafael Nadal, a record for the modern, professional era.

5 – Novak Djokovic is one of only five men in the modern era to win three successive slams, the others being Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

7 – Consecutive victories for Novak Djokovic against Rafael Nadal, after six wins from six meetings last season.

1 – The number of jokes that Andy Murray made about “going out and getting hammered”. The Scot, who has been teetotal since he was a teenager, apart from a sip of a strawberry daiquiri in Miami one year, was fooling around after his third-round victory over Frenchman’s Michael Llodra. 

0 – The occasions that Andy Murray turned to his new coach, the man he calls ‘Mr Lendl’, and spewed verbal abuse.

5 – Time, in years, since Roger Federer last beat Rafael Nadal at the grand slams. That was in the 2007 Wimbledon final.

56 – The world ranking of Ekaterina Makarova, the Russian who defeated Serena Williams in the fourth round. It was the first time for three years that Williams had lost to someone ranked outside the top 50. “I can’t even describe how I served. My lefty serve is actually better than that. Maybe I should have started serving lefty,” the Californian said. “It was disastrous. I made 37 errors, that kind of tells the story of the match. I just didn’t move the way I wanted to.”

0 –  Matches won by Sam Stosur, last season’s winner at the US Open, who was playing her first Australian Open as a grand slam champion. The Australian lost in the first round to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea. “The pressure was affecting me physically. I tightened up, my shoulders got tight, and I didn’t hit through the ball.”

181 – Lleyton Hewitt’s ranking at the start of the tournament. Perhaps a little fortunate in his second-round match, when Andy Roddick could not continue because of injury, he impressed with his defeat of Milos Raonic and then by taking a set off Novak Djokovic, the world number one and the eventual champion, in their fourth-round encounter. Only in the second week did Channel 7, the host broadcasters, have his services as a commentator.

686,006 – total tournament attendance, a record.