Kenin and Djokovic Win Australian Open
Men’s and women’s tennis continue to follow differing patterns, with the lack of variety in the Grand Slam winners in men’s tennis continuing, while the repeating cycle of new Grand Slam champions endures in the women’s game.
Novak Djokovic had to fight hard against Dominic Thiem, who was playing in his 3rd Grand Slam final, but prevailed in the end, winning 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 in a 4 hour long final. Thiem certainly had his chances, but in the end his increased time on court over the tournament cost him, having played long matches against Bolt, Nadal and Zverev in previous rounds. Djokovic had only really been pushed in Round 1 by Jan-Lennard Struff.
Djokovic’s victory moves him back up to World Number One, but more importantly increases his Grand Slam tally to 17, leaving him only 3 behind Roger Federer on 20. With Federer increasingly struggling to meet the demands of best of 5 sets tennis, Djokovic looks well on course to move even closer to Federer’s total. Between them, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won the last 13 consecutive Grand Slams, with Stan Wawrinka’s 2016 US Open victory being the last exception to the rule.
Thiem, meanwhile, can be happy with a valiant effort over the past two weeks. He made his first Grand Slam final outside of Roland Garros, beat Rafael Nadal at a slam for the first time and regained his career high ranking of 4. Having beaten Nadal 5 times in his career, 4 of those on clay, Thiem looks set to mount a huge challenge to Nadal’s dominance at the French Open this summer.
In the women’s draw we saw yet another new Grand Slam champion in 21-year-old Sofia Kenin, who downed Garbine Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2 in the final. After an understandably nervy start, Kenin settled in well and showed her class to come through. Muguruza’s experience of winning 2 Grand Slam titles prior to the match wasn’t enough on this occasion. Kenin has become the 8th first time slam champion in the last 12 Grand Slams in the women’s game.
While Kenin has announced her arrival at the top of the game, Muguruza has announced her return. She was unseeded at a slam for the first time since 2014, having endured some difficulties winning big matches over the past couple of years, but made her way through a tricky draw, showing that the talented Spaniard is not done yet.
“My dream has officially come true, dreams come true. If you have a dream then go for it – it will come true. These two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life” said an emotional Kenin on court after her victory.
Written by Emre Saridogan