by Max Osias ’24
Published Mar. 22nd, 2021
The Australian Open, which took place in Melbourne, began on January 31st and ended on February 7. This one was very special for both Novak Djokovic, who won the men’s bracket, and Naomi Osaka, who won the women’s bracket.
Other unique features included Serena Williams’s ambiguous farewell to the stadium and heartfelt interviews.
Novak Djokovic won his ninth, and third consecutive, Australian Open, now putting him in the lead of most Australian Open victories. What’s even crazier is that he accomplished this despite a muscle tear earlier in the Australian Open.
This also makes him two Grand Slams away from being tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles, which is a whopping 20 championships. Nadal lost in the semifinals of this Australian Open to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Federer has been dealing with a knee injury. While each of these players have had their share of ruling the tennis world, they are definitely getting older, hopefully making room for other players to find similar success.
Naomi Osaka won her fourth major title. She dominated her opponents and beat Jennifer Brady, who was ranked No. 22, in the final match to clinch the title. Osaka has not lost a single major final in her whole career. To top that, she was named the 2020 AP Female Athlete of the Year and has built up a 21-game winning streak. As a result, she is slowly becoming the face of women’s tennis. She does not take much notice of that as she said, “For me, I just focus on myself and what I can do.”
While Osaka has enjoyed many great victories so far, her most recognized accomplishment remains her defeat over Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open. Williams was her idol as a child. In the true spirit of creating her own legacy, Osaka now says that she hopes she can play someone who viewed her as an idol at some point in the future.
To do Williams credit, she is definitely one of the best tennis players of all time. Some have said she needs one more trophy to really solidify her status as a tennis great, as this would tie her at 24 with Margaret Court, another all-time great. After losing to Osaka in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, Williams will have to keep on hunting her 24th trophy.
However, after the match, many have considered that this could be Williams’s final time at the Australian Open. She left the stadium and turned around to wave goodbye, putting her hand to her heart. Reporters asked her about this action and she said, “ I don’t know, the Australian crowd is so amazing… If I ever say farewell, I wouldn’t tell anyone.” She left abruptly as she struggled to hold back tears. This put the media in a frenzy, as they hoped she would come back for more matches.
Williams has not won a Grand Slam since her child was born in 2017. Her baby is her number one priority, which could be a factor to her losing streak. It seems as if she has more important things than trying to get that 24th Grand Slam. This may be a refreshing shift as tennis has dominated her whole life. It may be good for her to just try and live a normal life.
All of these amazing players will hopefully be on the court for years to come. At their current pace, these players are on track to be some of the best athletes ever.