With the French Open in the rear view mirror and Wimbledon on the horizon, we think it’s a good time to take a look back at some memorable Australian Open tennis moments from 2017. We also look a bit further afield to one classic match as well as gearing up for the next chapter in Grand Slam history with our 2018 Australian Open packages!
Will Serena ever be done?
Serena Williams, one of the world’s most amazing and empowering athletes, has proven once more that she knows what she wants and just how to get it. As a result, this unquestionably talented role model took home an unbelievable 7th Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup with a 2-week display of power, poise, and undeniable passion. Just as astonishing, her most recent Australian Open triumph came 14 years after her maiden title in 2003 against the same opponent – sister Venus. When you consider we’ve since discovered this year’s victory was secured whilst pregnant, there really is nothing Serena can’t do!
After winning her 23rd Grand Slam title, Williams moved into 2nd place on the career ‘Slams’ list. In celebration, showcasing custom-designed Nike Air Jordan shoes featuring the number 23 on the side, she exclaimed, “I finally made it to Michael Jordan status at 23!”
Is 30 the new age to thrive in tennis?
Like Serena, we look at a legend like Roger Federer and simply ask, how? How can he still be this darn good? How does he continue to defy Father Time? And more solemnly, when will it ever end? The Fed Express took a 6-month hiatus in the back half of 2016 season, missed some major tournaments including the US Open. At the time, questions were raised as to whether the best of Roger was behind him. The doubts were put to rest in startling fashion with the insanely popular Swiss rekindling a great passion for tennis to win a 5th Australian Open crown. It was an amazing sight to see as Federer claimed a record 18th Grand Slam title, outlasting old foe Rafa Nadal in an enthralling 5 set epic.
Roger Federer’s place in history is 100% secure with the straightforwardness of a quote from Australian Bernard Tomic summing things up. Simply, “Roger is Roger”.
Who’s hiding the Djoker?
When Novak Djokovic strolled through his 1st Round match with Fernando Verdasco in less than 90 minutes, we figured the defending champion could easily serve up a record 7th Australian Open crown. Well, weren’t we wide of the mark!!
Denis Istomin, a wildcard entrant, came out fired up and ready for action, taking the ‘Djoker’ down in a 5 set classic he’ll never forget. The result left spectators and fellow players in complete shock as Djokovic walked out of Rod Laver Arena and out of the Australian Open for 2017. The question now remains, can the charismatic Serb return to the lofty heights we’ve come to expect or are his days of dominance a distant memory? Only time will tell.
As for Istomin, he marched on with another 5 set marathon victory in the next round before his tournament came to halt, beaten by eventual semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov. Denis Istomin – a rookie on the rise or a fluke that nobody saw coming?
“You were innocent. You won’t be forgotten”
On Day 6 of the 2017 Australian Open, Rod Laver Arena stood in respectful silence. Prior to their 3rd Round match, Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev joined a reflective Melbourne crowd in paying their respects to those who had lost their lives in the Bourke Street tragedy just a day earlier. It was truly one of the more compelling moments in Australian Open history and was felt deeply by every person inside Rod Laver Arena. To Rafa and Alexander….thank you.
A long look back
We’re already excited about the 2018 Australian Open. But before we look forward, let’s head back in time to one of the great moments in Australian Open history. The 2009 Semi-Final between Spanish compatriots Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.
Eventually dubbed the 2009 Match of the Year, this truly enthralling battle required a record-breaking 5hrs14mins to find a victor. Both Nadal and Verdasco displayed extraordinary mental strength throughout the match, with 3 of the 5 gruelling sets decided by tiebreakers. It was Verdasco who conceded match point courtesy of a double fault, a complete misrepresentation of the action that preceded it. For sheer suspense, courage and perseverance the match will be forever considered one of the classics of the Open era.
It’s matches like this that keep diehard tennis fans wanting more. Each year offers a new storyline and pens a fresh page in Grand Slam history. One thing that never changes is that Rod Laver Arena and the Australian Open never fail to attract the world’s biggest superstars.
Travel & Sports Australia would love you to Experience It all for yourself in 2018!