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Five things we learned from the Australian Open

Two weeks of high-quality and exciting tennis. Tears. Celebrations. And last but not the least, broken racquets.

Last updated: 04.02.2019
Five things we learned from the Australian Open | Sports Social Blog

Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic have made their marks in the first Grand Slam of the season.

Two weeks of high-quality and exciting tennis. Tears. Celebrations. And last but not the least, broken racquets.

In the women's final, fan-favourite and US Open champion Naomi Osaka beat another fan-favourite Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-4.

In the men's final, history was in the making irrespective of the result. World Number one Novak Djokovic was looking to be the first man to win seven Australian Opens while world number two Rafael Nadal was looking to join the elite list of Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as the only men to win each Grand Slam multiple times. But it was Djokovic who took the honours as he demolished Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

So what have we learned from the first major of the year? Let's find out.

Age isn't just a number anymore for Roger Federer

Don't get me wrong, Federer still has got the touch and elegance in his game. But physically he isn't the same player he once was. His record in the last three Slams proves that - a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon, fourth-round exit at the US Open and another fourth-round exit here against a 20-year-old.

He has decided to play in the French Open this year for the first time since 2015 but it is at Wimbledon where Federer will be looking to win another major. And it has to be this year as Federer is beginning to show signs of being a senior citizen of the tour.

Is this the end for Andy Murray?

The first-round clash against Roberto Bautista Agut was always going to be a tough task for the three-time Grand Slam winner, given his injury struggles in 2018.

On the opening day of the tournament, Murray battled hard for four hours and nine minutes but fell just short. At first, it looked like it was going to be a routine win for the Spaniard but Murray isn't someone who would just roll over and die as giving up is not in his nature. He fought from two sets down and forced a fifth in front of a packed Melbourne crowd.

Murray mentioned that he intends to retire at Wimbledon if his body allows him to carry on. But one thing we learned from this Australian Open is that Murray will be missed.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, not Zverev is the next big thing

All eyes were on Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open as many believed that his time has finally come. But his campaign will be remembered for losing his temper and smashing his racquet as he succumbed to a straight sets loss to Milos Raonic in the fourth round.

While all eyes were on the young German, a certain Greek god sent Roger Federer packing in the fourth round and made it to the semi-finals. Tsitsipas may have been humbled by Nadal in the final four but he showed a lot of promise and has all the necessary equipment to usher men's tennis into the next generation of stars.

If you didn't know who was Stefanos Tsitsipas before the Australian Open, you surely do now. And if you haven't subscribed to his YouTube channel yet, please do.

Naomi Osaka is no one-slam wonder

The new World Number one Naomi Osaka is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in women's tennis and also became the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the next Grand Slam after her maiden major title. She also became the first ever Asian player to sit at the top of the rankings.

It was a clash between two most likeable players in women's tour. Both women were fighting for the number one spot. Osaka was there to prove that her controversial US Open triumph was no one time wonder while Kvitova was looking to win a slam on what she calls her “second career” after she suffered a knife attack in 2016.

Osaka won it in the end and showed everyone that she is here to stay and Serena will have to work harder if she is to win a record 24th Grand Slam singles trophy.

Novak Djokovic is on a league of his own

How do you stop Novak Djokovic? How do you stop someone who gets better when the opponent becomes tougher? Rafael Nadal definitely had no answers. Djokovic put in a vintage performance and according to some, one of his best ever performance in a Grand Slam final.

It was perfection at its best. Nadal, who hadn't dropped a set in the entire tournament had no answers to the mighty Serb. One year ago, many wondered whether they had seen the best of Djokovic, but now he's back in charge and is playing at a level far beyond the rest of the tour.

Having won the last three majors, he could be heading towards a non-calendar Grand Slam and it should be remembered that the next major is the Roland Garros, which is Nadal’s territory.

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