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The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sidelines: Historic Australian Open comes to a close

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Last week capped off an Australian Open marked by several upsets. (Photo courtesy of ATP tour)

The Australian Open ended on Sunday at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. As the opening Grand Slam of each tennis season, players from both the men’s and women’s tours had the opportunity to begin their seasons on the right foot. Here’s who came out on top.

Women’s Final: #2 Aryna Sabalenka def. #12 Qinwen Zheng 6-3, 6-2

World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka defended her Australian Open title in dominant fashion, defeating China’s Qinwen Zheng in a comfortable two-set victory. This match marks 14 consecutive wins for Sabalenka at the Australian Open, as the world No. 2 did not drop a set in any of her matches at the 2024 tournament. 

Zheng, competing in her first-ever Grand Slam final, was hoping to follow in the footsteps of her countrywoman and former world No. 2 Li Na who won the tournament in 2014. However, Zheng did not have an answer for Sabalenka’s unrelenting baseline aggression as she was comfortably beaten.

Sabalenka’s powerful first-strike style saw her lose only 31 games throughout the tournament. Only American Coco Gauff could win more than three games in a set throughout all of Sabalenka’s seven matches.

This year’s women’s tournament produced many historic moments. Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska became the first player to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open after playing in the qualifying rounds, and her compatriot Marta Kostyuk made this tournament the first Grand Slam to feature multiple Ukrainian players in the quarterfinal round.

There were also a historic number of surprise results at this tournament, as only five of the top-10 seeded players made it beyond the third round – the lowest number since 1988. The most notable upset came in the third round when 19-year-old Linda Noskova eliminated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in three sets.

Men’s Final: #4 Jannik Sinner def. #3 Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

As Italian Jannik Sinner and Russian Daniil Medvedev walked onto the court for this year’s Australian Open Final, it marked the first time since 2005 that not one member of the immortal “Big Three” competed in the final. That trio, of course, consists of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Sinner defeated Medvedev in a tight five-set affair, which saw the Russian break the record for most sets played in a Grand Slam tournament. Sinner’s endurance decided the contest in the end, as he outlasted Medvedev’s early aggression and shot back with a response of his own.

This was the second time that Medvedev surrendered a two-set lead in the final of an Australian Open, as Rafael Nadal made a similar comeback against him in the 2022 final.

For Sinner, this was the first of what the 22-year-old hopes to become a collection of major titles. The Italian defeated No. 5 Andrey Rublev and No. 1 Novak Djokovic before Medvedev on the way to cementing himself as one of the premier players on the tour.

The Italian international joins world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz as the second member of the so-called “NewGen,” a term for players born in the 2000s, to win a men’s Grand Slam.

Both the men’s and women’s tours will continue until May when they will take the court for the French Open.

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Martin Familetti
Martin Familetti, Staff Sports Writer
Come On You Spurs.

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