There were a lot of things I got wrong about my Australian Open predictions, but there was one thing I was absolutely right about:
That Aryna Sabalenka would repeat as champion.
How could she not? She is perhaps the most ferocious player in the WTA and attacks every single point with an intensity that reminds me of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. She is quickly becoming the queen of the hard court.
And what a dominant tournament from Sabalenka too, not dropping a single set. The only player who won more than three games in a set against her was Coco Gauff (7-6 6-4).
It’s a testament to how her game has grown in recent years. Her serve, once a giant liability, is now a potent weapon. And she is so much more composed than when she used to be.
She is a huge joy to watch and my favourite player in the game.
For so many years the women’s game has lacked consistent champions. Now with her, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina, I think that’s finally over.
It’s only a matter of time before she returns to World No. 1.
As for the men, I’m ashamed to say I only saw the last few sets of the final, where Jannik Sinner won his maiden Grand Slam title.
Again, it doesn’t really surprise me. Anyone watching him last year could see he was making huge strides. He won, what, 10 of the last 11 matches he’s played against versus Top 10 players? Including 3 of 4 against Novak Djokovic. Someone fact-check this.
What surprised me is how soon it came. I thought it would be Roland Garros or the US Open. At only 22 years old, I think tennis is going to be in good hands with him and Carlos Alcaraz at the top of the game.
A moment to recognise Daniil Medvedev, too, who simply ran out of gas at the end. No one played more sets in a Grand Slam than he has in the Open Era (31). That included two matches where he came back from 2 sets down. A huge shame he couldn’t come back. The man just needs to be a little more aggressive and maybe he can take it next time.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Monday Monday, by the Mamas & The Papas
And now for your links:
Six people arrested after brawl during Wolves-WBA match
Marie-Louise Eta becomes first female coach to take charge in Bundesliga
Aryna Sabalenka offers master class in power tennis