Last week, I wrote an article here itself on the first week of the Australian Open. I wrote about how thrilling it will be, full of surprises etc. Looking back, it now seems that it was rather predictable, once Nadal crashed out, of course. This article will focus on the final week of the Australian Open: the shocks, the surprises, the champions.
Predictable in tennis pretty much means that Serena Williams won another Grand Slam. Her 19th this time and the 6th time in Australia. Beating Maria Sharapova in straight sets, Serena seemed unfazed by it all and claimed to already look forward to equalling Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors, her next aim and the most number of majors won by any tennis player in the Open era.
In the men’s finals, again, almost predictably Novak Djokovic emerged victorious, though Andy Murray did manage to stretch the finals to 4 sets. Djokovic survived a tough 5 set thriller of a semifinal against Stan Wawrinka, the defending champion, to reach the final, where he did win his 5th Australian Open title, and his 8th title overall. Troubled by pain in his leg, Djoker seemed to be struggling at certain points of the match but the match didn’t have too many surprises in itself.
In a good day for the Indian, Leander Paes, along with his doubles partner, Martina Hingis won the mixed doubles title, in the first Grand Slam they have played together as a pair. In the men’s doubles, the all-Italian duo of Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolleli became the first Italian pair to win the Australian open in more than 50 years. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the women’s doubles in straight sets as well.
When the finals are played by the most obvious choices, there’s really not much to write about. I think the shock of this week was Nadal crashing out last monday itself. He had looked like he was in pain… and speculation as to how much longer he would be able to continue to play, continues as usual. Controversies included the Australian players not getting to use centre court, and things that didn’t make it to news channels.
It’s been another Grand Slam and of course there are things (and people) we’ve got out of it. People, and memories, to remember and love.
1. The Serena Phenomenon: While people are always saying that they are so glad to have lived through the era of Federer and Nadal, the Australian Open reminded me once again exactly why we should be glad to have lived through the era of Serena Williams. She’s dominated the tennis circuit like no one has, since Graf, and her power tennis is an awesome phenomenon to watch.
2. The Young Turks: This Open saw the rise of younger players like Eugenie Bouchard, Nick Krygjos, Madison keys and Grigor Dmitrov, of course. It remains to be seen if they will dominate the circuit in the same way their predecessors have but so much young talent is always a treat to watch.
3. Paes: Oh god, Paes. When every news channel In india is happy to talk about a retired cricketer, Paes continues to be amazing and continues to win with effortless ease.
So. The first Grand Slam is unfortunately already over. Let’s wait a few more months. 3 more to go this year… futures in tennis can change radically. But… and this is the Federer fan speaking, let’s wait for a perfect swansong and some more amazing tennis. But, let’s appreciate the awesomeness that we have seen. Till next year in Australia :)
By Shreemayee Das