The 2024 Australian Open has wrapped up, producing a new set of stars that will reign as champion for the next one year. As the first grand slam of the year, there is always a lot of expectations going into it, and this year’s event had its fair share of action with some serious surprises.
This year is the first time since 2005 that the Australian Open men’s final has not featured any of the Big 3 players, that is, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. It is also the first time since 2014 that the winner is neither any of those men. Instead, we got a new champion in the person of Jannik Sinner, who claimed his first grand slam title at age 22.
Sinner’s road to victory involved beating 10-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before proceeding to face Daniil Medvedev in the final round. His triumph against Medvedev started with him losing the first two sets. He then bounced back in the remaining three sets, winning the match 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 after battling it out for nearly four hours.
The 22-year-old has been on a streak since winning his first ATP 1000 event last year, ending in Toronto and taking his country, Italy, to victory at the Davis Cup. Adding his first Grand Slam title to that feat is something to be proud of, indeed. Sadly, Medvedev will be going home without a title for the second time after losing at the final in 2022. His only grand slam title to date remains the US Open, which he beat Djokovic for in 2021.
In women’s singles, Aryna Sabalenka is the first woman to claim back-to-back wins at the Australian Open since compatriot Victoria Azarenka did so in 2012-2013. Sabalenka, who lost out on winning the US Open last year after losing to Coco Gauff in the final, returned the favor when she defeated Gauff in the semifinal. The world number 2 did not need much time to beat Zheng Qinwen and claim her second grand slam title, with a final round score of 6-3 6-2.
Sabalenka had a good 2023 season, doing well at all four grand slams but only winning one. The win at Australia on Saturday was a good way to start the year and also to prove that she has a lot in store for us as the season progresses.