It all began on a hot bright day January 15, 2018, when tennis fans swarmed the brilliant Rod Laver and Margareth Court Arena for the first grand slam of the year. Over the past two weeks, fans have enjoyed the thrills that have accompanied the competition. We have seen fantastic tennis matches, upsets, point saves; the great, the awful and the grandiose fashion side of tennis players.
Following a thrilling two weeks of extreme tennis, there were two individuals left standing as merited Champions. Caroline Wozniacki was the ladies’ champion, winning her first grand slam title, while Roger Federer kept on turning back the hands of time to win his twentieth Grand slam Title.
Nevertheless, those were not only the significant talking points and observations from the competition. Hence, this article discussing them are thus;
1. Halep will win a Grand slam soon: Simona Halep might have lost in the final, making it her third grand slam final loss, but she can draw positives from her exhibitions in the last two weeks where she played some of the best tennis of her career.
She began the competition battling an ankle injury but didn’t let that affect her. She was mentally tough, dug deep and gave everything. Her match against Lauren Davis was seemingly the match of the competition where she saved match points. Despite missing the mark in the final against a determined Caroline Wozniacki, she should look to the future and keep up this level.
She has demonstrated that she’s a warrior and she’s mentally tough. it’s a matter of when and not if she will win a Grand Slam. On the plus side, she’s still got a considerable measure of time on her side. (NB: All of Halep’s 3 Grand Slam final loss have all been a three-set affair.)
2. Angelique Kerber is back: At the Australian Open last year: Angelique Kerber was the defending champion and was positioned at No 1 on the planet. Yet, it was at the competition things began to went downhill for her in 2017; She lost in the first round and after that completed the year as World No 21.
This year, she has pulled herself back up so far and Her performance at the Australian Open has demonstrated how prepared she is to challenge for top honours once more.
Though it wasn’t until the third round this year where she destroyed Maria Sharapova in straight sets that her faultfinders believed she could be real deal again this year, she was on a ten-match unbeaten run before her loos in the semifinals against Halep. She’s back in the top 10 at No 9. If she can keep at level of performance, it won’t be a surprise if she’s back in the Grand Slam honours this year.
3. Caroline Wozniacki breaks her Grand slam Jinx: Caroline Wozniacki has been on the Women’s tour for some years now. She is a former World No 1, holding the position for 67 weeks and won numerous WTA competitions without a Grand slam.
She ended up in the runner up position at a Grand Slam final twice, however never surrendered. She came into the Australian having lost six back to back finals in 2017 but winning the WTA finals in Singapore.
It was in the second round of her match against Jana Fett that she played one of the best matches of her career returning from 1-5 down in the last set, saving two match points in the process and go the distance to win her first Grand slam title.
She returned to No 1 and having been outside the best 70, eighteen months prior (Jose Morgado) which makes her Victory sweeter. The Australian Open title is because of her commitment and diligent work throughout the years. Hopefully, she keeps up the level.
4. A New Asian star is Born: For a few years now Kei Nishikori has been the golden kid of Asian tennis. However, he might now have an adversary in Chung Hyeon. The young fellow from South Korea wowed fans with his astounding tennis at the Australian Open.
His unprecedented displays made him score victories over Zevrev and Djokovic, drawing acclaims from the latter and Federer. It was a disappointment that he needed to retire in his Semifinal match against Federer, but he has demonstrated he’s prepared to rival the big boys, which is the reason pundits have tipped him to be a top ten player later and perhaps go above and beyond by winning a Grand slam.
5.ATP can be unpredictable as well: Over the past couple of slams, there has been criticism towards the Women’s section of tennis because of its eccentricities and unpredictability – both a weakness and a strength. The criticism has always been about a lack of consistency, compared to the Men’s segment – with respect to female players.
At this year’s Australian Open though, there was a shift. The men’s side demonstrated that it can equally be erratic with three debutants in the quarter-finals. The likes of Kyle Edmund, Chung and Tennys Sandgren all reached their first Grand slam Quarterfinals with Edmund and Chung going a step further by reaching the Semifinals.
Every one of them did that by thumping seeded players. This demonstrates how things may really be changing On the men’s tour as this is the successive Slam where just only one individual from the big four will be in the semifinals.
6. Ageless Federer: At the Australian Open a year ago, there were question marks over Federer’s wellness and form. As a twist, it was at that competition that the fairytale began in an already impressive career.
He won his 17th and 18th grand slams last year, and continued the success story at this year’s Australian Open – He didn’t drop a set en route to the final.
He met some resistance in Cilic who took him the distance but still came out successful to win his twentieth Grand Slam ( The first man to do so).
It is important to note that he accomplished this at 36 years old; a proof of his splendour, devotion, hard work and love for the game. There have been so many times his career has been written off but he continues to defy logic, proving his sceptics wrong. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that Father timeless won’t be done until the point when he says he is finished.