Djokovic, Osaka Dominate at Australian Open

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The professional tennis season kicked off with the annual Australian Open, the first major open of the season.

Novak Djokovic won the men’s draw, marking his 18th career grand slam title. Naomi Osaka came out victorious on the women’s side winning her fourth grand slam title at just 23 years old. 

“I was so glad to watch the Australian Open. I’ve been waiting for the tennis season to start so I was glad to see the tournament being played even with fans for a little bit,” said senior fanatic Mikey Amendola. 

The tournament was able to be played through various efforts by health officials to keep the event safe. All players were tested for coronavirus to ensure there would be no cases within the players. Also, fans were allowed with reduced capacity in the stadiums. Although, during the middle of the tournament cases were found in Australia and people were put on a five day lockdown, however the tournament continued without fans. Luckily, the lockdown ended quickly and fans were able to attend for the semi-final and championship matches. 

One of the most anticipated matches in the open was the match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. 

“I was so thrilled when I saw Naomi and Serena were playing each other. Serena was playing really well at the time so I was curious to see how she’d do against the up and coming Osaka,” said sophomore Nick Vinci.

Naomi Osaka, the number three ranked player, and Serena Williams, the number ten ranked player, faced off in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Serena Williams was moving really well and playing terrific despite being 39 years old. Williams jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against Osaka in the first set. However, Osaka quickly regained focus and began to dominate the match. Osaka won 6 of the next 7 games and won the match 6-3, 6-4.

Naomi Osaka’s iconic win against one of the greatest tennis players of all time gave her a clear path to the title. 

“With the way Naomi was playing I thought there was no way she could possibly lose the championship. She’s been playing so well she’s pulling away from the rest of the players, she’s becoming elite,” said senior Jack Stauffer. 

Naomi Osaka was playing some of her best tennis coming into the championship match. Entering the match she won her 20 previous matches and has not lost in over a year. Therefore, 22nd ranked American Jen Brady, who was making her first grand slam championship appearance, was at a significant disadvantage. Osaka handled Brady with ease and earned her fourth grand slam title winning 6-4, 6-3.

Novak Djokovic also had a relatively clear path to his title.

“Djokovic looked dominant during this year’s Australian Open. It looked like no player could even come close to how well he was playing,” said Vinci. 

The number one ranked Djokovic played really well the whole tournament despite a close five set match in the third round. His biggest competition for the title was number two ranked Rafael Nadal. However, Nadal lost a five set match in the quarter-finals to Tsitsipas, who is ranked number five. Therefore, Novak had a clear path to victory and won easily against number four ranked Medvedev, 7-5,6-2,6-2. Thus leading Djokovic to his 18th grand slam title and winning his ninth Australian Open title. 

Both Osaka and Djokovic continue to excel in their respective genders and they look to win even more titles in the near future. 

“I cannot wait to see what comes next for both Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka. They’re both so amazing and I think they’ll win many more times in the years to come,” said Amendola.