Australian Open 2020: Biggest winners and takeaways from the year's first Slam
The 2020 Australian Open has finally come to an end after two weeks of pulsating tennis action. And while the tournament never disappointed in delivering shocks and surprises, there were a few big takeaways from the new decade's first Grand Slam.
Be it Novak Djokovic's record breaking eight title in Melbourne or Sofia Kenin's spirited run to the women's crown or Roger Federer's comeback wins, the headline-making efforts kept on coming. And as the curtains draw on the tournament, here is a list of the biggest winners and takeaways from Melbourne.
Sofia Kenin (Winner)
The young Sofia Kenin has come out the year's first Slam looking good. Not only did she win her first slam here in Melbourne to start off the year on splendid note, but also backed a very solid run in the 2019 season.
She looked extremely comfortable on the big stage and played some inspired tennis. Her uninhibited approach to matches, even against the world's top players is bound to take her a long way ahead.
The Big 3 hold the fort (Big takeaway)
It would be a fair assessment to say the Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal still enter the majors as clear favourites for the title. Djokovic's title run, Nadal and Federer's big wins over Nick Kyrgios, and John Millman and Tennys Sandgren respectively hold them in good standing in face of an onslaught of Next Gen stars.
The three men showed great depth of character in their matches throughout the two weeks and while they might not have come out on top of all of them, they still anchor much of the men's tour even heading into the 2020s.
Dominic Thiem's growth (Big takeaway)
Dominic Thiem might could not come out on top against a doggy Djokovic in the finals on Sunday and he will rue the lost opportunities for a while. That said, there were many positives for the Austrian to take away from Melbourne.
Following his remarkable showing in Melbourne, he will enter big tournaments (even on harcourts) as a serious contender from here on out. His groundstrokes were firing throughout the week and with this newfound confidence on the faster surfaces, Thiem looks destined for bigger things.
The Australian Open did it's part to raise money awareness surrounding the devastating Bushfires that hit the country later in 2019. Not only did too stars participate in direct fundraising events (raising a total over 6 million dollar), they also appealed for international attention and help for the relief exercises.
The Rod Laver Arena sported the Australia is Open signs on the closing days of teh tournament to signal the reopening of the Australian tourism industry for the international audiences and the administration did their part by raising the issue in every speech or media interaction. In the end, the tournament came out looking good in the face of adversity and it was a big win for the country.
Depth of women's tour (Big takeaway)
The depth of the women's tour continues to be the story of the last few years. And with another first time Grand Slam champion, the argument that WTA Tour is going through a phase of unprecedented competition is further cemented in the conscious.
As the curtains begin to fall on the careers of long-time stars like Caroline Wozniacki, new faces continue to emerge almost out of nowhere to keep the fans and players on their toes. And it is safe to say, the future of women's tour is looking more intriguing than ever.Published 02 Feb 2020, 20:54 IST