MELBOURNE, Australia — The best way issues went on the Australian Open didn’t precisely educate the world that Novak Djokovic is the very best there’s in males’s tennis proper now. Definitely confirmed it, although.
And whereas these inside the sport knew all about Naomi Osaka, she made certain her expertise is extra apparent to extra folks.
Djokovic, a 31-year-old already ranked No. 1, now has gained the previous three males’s Grand Slam titles. Osaka, who earned her debut at No. 1 at age 21, has gained the final two ladies’s trophies at majors.
When it’s time for the following Grand Slam event — the French Open, 4 months from now — all eyes needs to be on them.
“Clearly, it’s just the start of the season. I do know there’s a whole lot of tournaments to play earlier than Roland Garros, so I’ve loads of time to construct my type slowly,” Djokovic stated. “I’ve to work on my sport, my clay-court sport, a bit extra.”
After his spectacular 6-3, 6-2, 6-Three victory over Rafael Nadal within the closing at Melbourne Park on Sunday, Djokovic can pursue a fourth consecutive main championship, one thing he already achieved from 2015-16.
However the chance additionally exists for him to intention for a calendar-year Grand Slam, one thing final carried out 50 years in the past by Rod Laver.
It’s the form of factor that would get everybody speaking about tennis.
As for Osaka — a 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-Four winner over Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s closing — what makes her sudden surge to the highest notably noteworthy is that it comes proper after a interval of obvious depth however no dominance.
Till this Australian Open, eight ladies had divided the earlier eight main titles. Not since Serena Williams took 4 in a row from 2014-15 had one lady gained consecutive Slam tournaments.
And you need to go all the best way again to Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to discover a lady who gained her first main championship and adopted it up on the very subsequent Slam with a second title.
“I at all times hear tales that the very best gamers win matches even after they’re not taking part in their finest. And I’ve at all times puzzled how they did that,” Osaka stated. “So I really feel like this event, for me, was that.”
Djokovic is on the top of his powers. Osaka is just getting higher. Who will problem them?
Here’s what else we realized on the 2019 Australian Open:
SERENA AND ROGER
Serena Williams and Roger Federer are each 37. Nobody has gained extra Grand Slam singles titles within the skilled period than Williams’ 23. No man in historical past has gained greater than Federer’s 20. Williams owns seven Australian Open trophies, Federer six. However she misplaced within the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park this time, and he exited within the fourth spherical. Perhaps age is catching as much as them. Perhaps not. The concept both is finished contending for giant titles appears far-fetched, although. One key factor shifting ahead: Federer is planning to play the European clay-court circuit and at Roland Garros for the primary time since 2015.
Nadal was lower than slowing down Djokovic, however he in any other case certain regarded terrific — and, most significantly, wholesome. There’s little doubt who the favourite might be on the clay courts in France. “The constructive issues that occurred these couple of weeks make us very optimistic concerning his future and his stage,” stated Nadal’s coach, Carlos Moya. “We all know there’s room to maintain enhancing and we’re going to be engaged on that loads.”
If there are those that fret about what is going to occur when the gamers who dominated tennis for the previous 15 years or so transfer on, there have been a number of new faces who made statements in Australia. Stefanos Tsitstipas, a 20-year-old from Greece, upset Federer on the best way to the semifinals. Lucas Pouille, a 24-year-old from France, arrived with a 0-5 document at Melbourne however was guided to his first main semifinal by coach Amelie Mauresmo. American Frances Tiafoe, a son of immigrants from Sierra Leone who turned 21 in the course of the event, pulled off a few upsets on the best way to the quarterfinals. Danielle Collins, a 25-year-old from Florida, beat three-time main champion Angelique Kerber and made her semifinal debut. Amanda Anisimova, a 17-year-old from New Jersey, confirmed she has a vivid future.
Comply with Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
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