So, the Australian Open has drawn to a close and what a first Grand Slam of the season it proved to be.
There were plenty of dramatic moments and controversy as expected, with moments that will see the tournament live long in the memory for some. While many people will talk about the dramatic finals that saw Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic walk away as winners in the men’s and women’s finals, there were plenty of other ups and downs along the way.
We must start by mentioning that Naomi Osaka has eventually been able to celebrate winning a Grand Slam, while also rising to become the new world number one. Osaka managed to beat Serena Williams in last year’s US Open final, but her victory was marred with controversy due to a third court violation. The presentation ceremony was met with chorus of boos and Osaka was brought to tears. However, after beating Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open, the 21-year-old could enjoy the moment in its entirety.
There must also be a mention for Kvitova who Osaka beat in the final. The Czech was at home when she was the victim of a violent robbery where she was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder. After undergoing hours of surgery, the two-time Wimbledon champion had to take time away from the game to recover. The Australian Open was her first major tournament since returning and she more than held her own against the very best.
Stefanos Tsitspas is tipped for greatness in the sport and is a wonderkid many have their eyes on for the future. The twenty-year-old’s childhood hero, like many, was Roger Federer and he was paired against the Swiss in the last 16. Tsitsipas managed to beat his idol in four sets and said, “This match point is going to stay, I’m pretty much sure, forever, for the rest of my life.” The young Greek went on to make it all the way to the semi-finals, but he couldn’t get past Rafael Nadal.
After announcing that he plans to retire in the summer due to ongoing injury problems, Andy Murray took to the court in the first round and the Scot went two sets down and all hope seemed to be lost. However, everyone knows that Murray isn’t the giving up type and he battled back and forced a fifth set. He unfortunately lost, but after a battle that lasted over 4 hours, he showed he has the resolve to keep fighting through the pain barrier for as long as possible.
Finally, we end with Novak Djokovic proving that he is once again in unstoppable form. He thrashed Nadal in the final and has made his way back to the top of the world rankings, something that was potentially beyond him not so long ago. He’s won 8 Grand Slams since 2015 and he’s the one to beat right now, leaving the likes of Nadal and Federer in his wake.