The Australian Open has just concluded its two week run in Melbourne, crowning Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki as its champions. This year was marked by shock upsets, epic victories, and agonising injury struggles. Let’s take a look at the highlights of the fortnight.
Men’s Champion: Roger Federer
The King of Tennis and, in my opinion, the King of Sport, has made history by winning his 20th Grand Slam Tournament. The Swiss beat Croatian Marin Cilic in what was a repeat of the Wimbledon 2017 final, winning the final in an epic five set match. Federer was overcome with emotion in his speech after his win, breaking down in tears, as this win was such a huge one for him. However, how much more tennis does Roger Federer have left in him? Now aged 36, it’s an incredible achievement to still be top of the Grand Slam in a sport that takes such a heavy toll on one’s the body.
The Men’s tournament this year has not disappointed. Historical wins for many young players were achieved, with 21 year-old Hyeon Chung from South Korea playing the match of his career against Novak Djokovic in the fourth round. The Serb was in visible pain at times, struggling with his elbow injury, and Chung took the victory and went on to play Federer in the semi-final. He also upset 4th seed Zverev in an epic five sets in the 3rd round. Chung is young, powerful, and fearless player, and although both Federer and a blistered foot stopped him this time, he will be back fighting soon.
And in the absence of Andy Murray due to a hip injury, we can’t forget British hopeful Kyle Edmund. He reached the semi-finals – the furthest the Brit has ever reached in a Grand Slam tournament. Despite playing some brilliant tennis, beating Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, sadly it wasn’t enough to defeat Marin Cilic to reach the final. We can expect some great tennis from this young player in the future!
Women’s Champion: Caroline Wozniacki
Also making her own history, Wozniacki won her first Grand Slam title. It’s been almost eight years since she last held world number 1, and with this win, the Danish tennis player is now back on the top of the podium. Both finalists had reached the final of major tournaments before and both knew what it felt like to be denied victory. This time one of them had to win, and for Wozniacki, the victory was finally hers.
The Women’s tournament too showcased a wealth of future stars. Elise Mertens pulled out some amazing tennis, achieving a straight set win over Daria Gavrilova in the second round. Meanwhile, Alize Cornet in the third round had an impressive victory over world number 4 Elina Svitolina taking her to the semi-finals of this year’s tournament. What else has she got in store? We’ll have to watch and see.
32 year-old Su-Wei Hseih upset Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in the second round, Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round, and very nearly defeated Angelique Kerber in the fourth round with some cracking tennis. Although not a new face to tennis, she’s definitely making a huge impact right now!
Overall, the Australian Open hasn’t disappointed this year. With big competitors like Andy Murray out due to injury and Serena Williams on maternity leave, this tournament could really have been anyone’s to win. With a lot of players breaking out and showing off their talents this year, we can all be excited for the future of tennis.