Australian Open 2020 takeaways

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27: A general view inside Rod Laver Arena at sunset during the Men's Singles Final match betwen Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 14 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The first grand slam of the year gave us much excitement and even more to ponder. It always proves to be a perfect tonic for Winter in the northern hemisphere. We got to see a new star in the making in Sofia Kenin winning an unlikely first slam title and Dominic Thiem came oh so close to defeating Djokovic. The tectonic tennis plates are in constant motion and new players are emerging. Kenin, Osaka, Andreescu have won from unlikely starting points. For all the new arrivals there are some things that seem to never change. The old guys Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still there and still relevant and still winning. 

Why have a roof if you cant use it?

The Australian Open is an outdoor tournament with roofs available should the weather exceed certain points on the heat  scale. The semi final match between Ash Barty and Sofia Kenin took place in a blisteringly hot day, as the match went on fans sitting closest to the action disappeared presumably melted. Although the players didnt seem to mind it and the tournament will probably remind us that this is an outdoor tournament surely the roof could have been used.

Federer uses up his 9 lives

As Roger Federer’s career has progressed he has had to learn to tough it out. In the early days he breezed through opponents and frequently was 3-0 up at the first sit down.  Nowadays as the game has changed and Federer has had to hang tough in matches . It is a quality that he certainly developed. Many a time when Federer lost early on it would be in straight sets. Ofcourse he also snatched defeat from the jaws of victory too take for example the Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson matches at Wimbledon.  Recently Roger has been able to ride the momentum on 5 setters and emerge victorious. Both John Millman and Tennys Sandgren both will have felt unlucky not to have defeated Federer. Somehow though Federer got it done. You have to wonder at 38 just how long Roger can continue to produce these performances.

Caroline Wozniacki hangs up her racket.

The Dane bowed out at the Australian Open and her last victory was in typical Wozniacki fashion; gritty and determined. She came from behind twice to defeat the fiery Yastremska 7-5 7-5 before falling to the stylish Ons Jabeur in three sets. Wozniacki will be missed from tour and we wish her well in her final match against Serena in the spring.

Kyrgios and Nadal serve up a cracker. 

Super salty is how Kyrgios once described Rafa. Their 4th round match was the biggest on the tournament. Kyrgios has beaten Rafa before on the big stage and the two have enjoyed less than cordial relations. Kyrgios openly criticised Rafa in an interview with the New York Times.discussing his serving superstitions and openly flaunting the time rule. The match certainly lived up to its billing as a fully focused Nick Kyrgios brought his A game to the Rod Laver Arena. Rafa was up for it too and won in 4 tight sets. In the post match interview the Spaniard remarked that he liked this Nick Kyrgios of Australian Open 2020.

Serena Williams. Can she still get 24?

Serena came into this tournament in great form having won in Auckland. She steam rollered her opponents in the opening rounds which got many media journalists excited that AO2020 would finally be the tournament she was to break the Margaret Court record. A millstone which has been around her neck since she last won in 2017. Patrick Mouratoglou the American’s coach has now stated that Serena needs to change her style if she wishes to land the 24th grand slam title. There are many similarities with her high profile defeats since giving birth. It is extremely unlikely Serena will retire before she lands the 24th slam.

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