The first tennis major of the year is in the books with Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams claiming titles on the men’s and women’s side, respectively. To say both of the champions breezed through the tournament would not be true because both of them had some trouble at one point or another. In the semis, Djokovic faced a tough test from last year’s champion, Stanislas Wawrinka, as it took Djokovic the maximum five sets to defeat the Swiss star. Serena faced a tough test in her 3rd and 4th round matches, as both Svitolina and Muguruza took Williams into the 3rd set, which was surprising to some people.
All in all, we saw another great tennis major with a number of new stars and a bunch of new comers.
Let’s take a look at some of the headlines I thought stood out.
Alexandr Dolgopolov was bounced in the first round by Paolo Lorenzi. As the 21st seed, Dolgopolov has to be much better because he is capable of so much more than his performance in Australia.
Ernests Gulbis is another player who has so much potential, yet he seems to really struggle at times. For those not familiar with Gulbis, he has openly said that he uses marijuana and loves tennis just for the money. Ernests is gifted enough to be in the top 10, without a doubt, he just has to figure out his priorities.
I expected a lot from Gael Monfils, as well, but losing in the 2nd round to Jerzy Janowicz is quite disappointing. Monfils is an incredible athlete, who at times has given the top four plenty of problems.
Milos Raonic had another solid showing at a Grand Slam, but I feel that he is disappointed in his performance vs Djokovic, as he just cannot seem to beat the number one tennis player in the world. Raonic’s record vs Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal is not great, and if he wants to reach that elite level, he will have to do much better.
Nick Kyrgios once again showed that he is a tremendous talent and that he will be one of the better tennis players in the next 10-15 years. If he keeps playing the way he does, there is no reason he should not be in the top 10.
Tomas Berdych was also one of the more impressive players at this year’s tournament, even though he has been a household name for a while now. Beating Rafa in the quarters is no little feat, even though the Spaniard was coming off an injury riddled 2014 season. Berdych could be a real contender in 2015.
Benoit Paire did not even qualify for the Aussie Open. It’s a real shame because a few years back, I thought he really had some serious potential.
It was great to see Victoria Azarenka back on the court, after she had a very tough 2014 season due to injury, similar to Nadal. Along the way, Azarenka beat Caroline Wozniacki, who was the 8th ranked player in the tournament. I have a feeling Vika will have a great 2015.
Madison Keys reached the semifinals in Australia and was the biggest surprise of the tournament on either side. She ended up losing to Serena in straight sets, but it was not as easy as it sounds for the number one American. Madison has all the tools to become a brilliant tennis player.
Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic were, once again, very disappointing, losing in their 1st round match ups, respectively. It seems like both Jelena and Ana are either in top form, or they lose in the 1st or 2nd round of Grand Slam tournaments.
Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova also headline the women who were bounced early at the Aussie Open.
On the men’s side, I think it is important to note that Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic all missed the tournament; if these three gentlemen played, I think it would have been a much more entertaining two weeks. On the women’s side, you can almost always count on Serena making it to the semis and then finals, but guessing the rest of the field is next to impossible because of the amount of upsets that we see.
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.