Australian Open Review: The results of the first Grand Slam of the year


Photo Credit: ATP Tour

Jett Jenkins '20, Executive Editor-in-Chief

Players and fans of tennis around the world were excited as the professional tennis season of 2020 kicked off in full swing on January 14 at the Australian Open, the first major tournament of the year.

On the women’s side this year, there were several players that had the chance to come out on top. Australia’s very own Ashleigh Barty was the number one player on the WTA tour and the home-favorite. Her ability to out-hit any player on the court allows her to be in the mix in any match, which made her a quality favorite to win the tournament. Naomi Osaka from Japan was the number three player on the WTA tour and the defending champion. Although she ended last year on a rough note, she still has a winners’ mentality and was expected to be in the mix to win the tournament. Although Serena Williams has not won a major tournament since 2017, she can never be counted out. She has dominated her competition throughout her career and is always a favorite to win any tournament she enters regardless of her ranking. 

The men’s side of the field was extremely interesting this year as many of the young players on the tour had begun to show that they have what it takes to beat the likes of the Big Three: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer, who have dominated the major tournaments for much of the past decade. Novak Djokovic started off his 2020 campaign on a hot streak by leading Serbia to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup. In that event, Djokovic won every match he played in, making him the early favorite to win the Australian Open for an 8th time. Nadal was the world number one and also began the season in hot form as he led Spain to the final of the ATP Cup. Although he may not have been in as good of form as Djokovic, his winners’ mentality is second to none. Unlike Djokovic and Nadal, the 38 year-old Federer had little playing time leading up to the first major of the year. However, Federer was not counted out by any means as he had proven time and again that he is more than prepared to win matches regardless of how much time he of preparation he accumulates. 

As expected, Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer each made it to the second week of the tournament. Federer had been challenged throughout the tournament, as he was taken to 5 sets in two of his matches. However, he could not fight the fatigue of his long matches any longer and lost to Djokovic in three sets in the semifinals. Nadal seemed to be cruising through the tournament with ease until he lost to Dominic Thiem, the eventual finalist of the tournament. Djokovic dominated the tournament throughout and only had to play through adversity in the final against Thiem, where he won in three sets. Djokovic claimed his 8th Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam title overall.

The results of the womens’ tournament were much less expected. Williams lost much earlier than expected, Osaka lost to 15 year-old American phenom Coco Gauff, and Barty was upset by American Sofia Kenin in the semi-final. The final was between Kenin, who was the 14th seed, and unseeded Garbiñe Muguruza in a shocking final. Kenin defeated Muguruza in three sets and claimed her first career Grand Slam title.

Photo Credit: ATP Tour