The Best Of The Australian Open

JANUARY 29 — The Australian Open is over for another year but what a tournament it was. There were comebacks and upsets, but the one thing that really stood out was Roger Federer and his status as potentially the greatest tennis player of all time. He managed to lift an unbelievable 20th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, proving that he’s still got it and that age is indeed no issue. The tournament itself was full of highs and lows, so let’s take a look at some of the best bits.

Apart from Federer’s success, you could say that the real winner in Melbourne was women’s tennis itself. When it came to the best matches throughout the tournament, they were mostly women’s singles and Simona Halep’s win over Lauren Davis was the potentially the stand out tie. Halep won 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 even after being triple match points down in what was the longest women’s match of the whole tournament. Davis excelled and was at the top of her game, but Halep just had the edge.

There has to be a special mention for Caroline Wozniacki too. At one point in the final set against Jana Fett in the second round she trailed 5-1 and 40-15, but she remarkably managed to save both match points; and went on to win six games in a row. She also produced a stunning cross-court backhand against Simona Halep in the final, earning herself match point, which she went on to duly take winning the women’s singles.

There were some great newcomers to the tournament too and at just 15 years old, Marta Kostyuk became the youngest ever player to win a game at the Australian Open. She beat Peng Shuai in the first round, who was 25th seed and then went on to beat Olivia Rogowska. She unfortunately lost to her fellow countrywoman, Elina Svitolina, in the next round but it could be the start of a great career for Kostyuk.

It was again a disappointing tournament for Rafael Nadal as he was forced to retire in the final set of his quarter final match against Marin Cilic. It was a hip injury which forced the Spaniard to withdraw and you could say that tournaments feel a bit less special without Nadal still in them.

Britain’s hopes in the men’s singles relied on Kyle Edmonds with Andy Murray out due to injury and he did superbly well to reach the semifinals. Edmonds beat No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters with arguably his best performance over the course of the two weeks and in doing so became the only other British man to reach the semis at the Australian Open for 41 years, alongside Andy Murray.

All in all it was a really great tournament which saw women’s tennis really shine and prove just how entertaining it is. The Australian Open of 2018 really belongs to Roger Federer though as he once again takes the plaudits and deservedly so. A 20th Grand Slam title is no mean feat, especially when people felt his best days were behind him. However, Federer fans will expecting more from the Swiss player; with renowned sports betting sites like Unibet already having him as the 7/4 favourite to win at Wimbledon. There is no doubt the Australian Open has set the bar for 2018, and fans will hope this year will be one of the most memorable in the tennis world.

Provided article written by Hans Peter Fritz who studied journalism at the at the University of Stellenbosch.

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