Australian Open Recap

A Thrilling two Weeks of Tennis


Over the last two weeks, Melbourne, Australia hosted the first tournament of the year’s four Grand Slam tennis events, following the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. Played in Melbourne Park, the event saw new stars rising and old ones triumphing. The tournament format is bracket style, starting with a random draw for round one. 


One of the biggest upsets was Rafael Nadal losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. McDonald beat the defending champion and twenty-two-time Grand Slam winner in three straight sets. Nadal suffered a hip injury in their second set, which harmed his abilities allowing McDonald to advance to round three. At the end of round two, Nadal received a medical timeout and returned to the court to finish the third set. Despite the brave effort, he could not force a fourth set. This defeat was one of the most surprising and was Nadal’s earliest exit from the event since 2016. 


On the women’s side, Ons Jabeur saw an early exit from the Australian Open after a defeat in the second round. Jabeur was ranked second entering the tournament and was considered a favorite to win the Grand Slam. Czech player Marketa Vondrousova knocked out Jabeur. This was her first win over Jabeur in five meetings. Vondrousova progressed to the third round, facing fellow Czech player Linda Fruhvirtova. Fruhivrtova was the youngest to compete in the Australian Open at just 17 years old. In her Australian Open debut, she made it to the round of 16, where she lost to Donna Vekic. 


Another rising star this year’s Open saw was 20-year-old Ben Shelton. Shelton made his debut just months prior at the U.S. Open. On his first trip outside the United States, the left-hander won his first five Grand Slams. Shelton climbed to the final eight, only to be eliminated after four sets to Tommy Paul in his first major quarterfinal. In a post-match interview, Shelton stated that he “definitely exceeded my expectations. Not just tennis-wise but physically being able to get through as many three-out-of-five-set matches as I did.”


The Men’s Final of the Australian Open saw two incredible players; Novack Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas. This was a redemption tournament for Djokovic after being forced to withdraw from the 2022 Australian Open due to his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccines. Novack Djokovic is the number one tennis player in the world, a title he has held for the last 374 weeks. Stefanos Tsitsipas, a Greek professional tennis player, ranked number three globally, making him the highest-ranked Greek player alongside Maria Sakkari. These two men had something to prove as they stepped onto the court. 


The match only lasted three sets to the typical five, after Djokovic won the first three. Tsitsipas never seemed to threaten Djokovic, as he kept a calm and severe demeanor throughout the match. After the third set finished 7-6, Novack Djokovic claimed his 10th win at the Australian Open and his 22nd Grand Slam title. At 35 years of age, Djokovic has no plans of slowing down and continues to dominate the tennis world. 


The Women’s Final was quite a showdown, played by Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. 

Belarusian-born Aryna Sabalenka was looking to claim her first Grand Slam Championship. She was also the first player to win a tournament under a neutral flag. With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, tournament organizer Tennis Australia required Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutrals. The thrilling final was played in three sets, the first going to Rybakina. After being outplayed in the first set, Sabalenka recovered to defeat the reigning Wimbledon champion in an exceptional end to the Australian Open. 


After two exciting weeks of tennis, two new champions have been crowded, Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka. The next Grand Slam will be hosted in Paris, France, to showcase the Roland-Garros or the French Open. This tournament will occur during the last week of May and the first week of June.