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Australian OpenTennis

Australian Open 2023: A Look Back at the Grand Finale

The first tennis Grand Slam of the season finally came to its conclusion over the weekend, as the men’s and women’s champions Down Under were crowned. The Australian Open odds were accurate in predicting that Novak Djokovic would be difficult to beat.

Meanwhile, our Australian Open predictions were correct in siding with Aryna Sabalenka. Catch up on all the news from the 2023 Australian Open final here.

Djokovic Wins Tenth Australian Open Title

Sunday at the Australian Open was all about the men’s final, as Novak Djokovic clashed with Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas. However, there would be no stopping the favorite in the tennis odds in the Australian Open final, as Djokovic claimed a record-extending tenth title Down Under. In truth, it was a very straightforward couple of hours for the top-ranked player in the world.

Djokovic claimed success in straight sets to continue his stunning record in Melbourne, but the ten-time champion was quick to highlight where this success was measured in his career. The Serbian claimed that it was a ‘very special one,’ as he dropped just one set on his way to winning the title.

He was also extremely emotional at the conclusion of the Australian Open final, as the win came just 12 months after he was deported from the country following the row surrounding his COVID-19 vaccination status. But, his dominance Down Under wasn’t up for debate this year, as he has now gone a stunning 28 games without defeat at the Australian Open, a run that extends to 2018.

Missed Opportunity For Tsitsipas

Djokovic was always prominent in the tennis picks for the Australian Open final, but many expected Tsitsipas to put up a bigger fight Down Under. The Greek would certainly feel as though it was a missed opportunity, as he never looked to recover after dropping the opening set. However, the 24-year-old would still have taken positives from some excellent performances.

He showed great character to edge out Jannik Sinner in five sets in the fourth round before easing through in four against Karen Kachanov in the semi-finals. However, his wait for a first Grand Slam title continues. It is the second time that he has reached a final, losing on his 2021 French Open final appearance to Djokovic in 2021.

But, it is worth remembering that the Greek now boasts an incredibly consistent record at the Grand Slams, having reached at least the semi-final stage on six occasions since the start of 2019.

Sabalenka Claims Maiden Grand Slam

Last year was a tennis schedule campaign that Aryna Sabalenka would have been extremely keen to forget about. The Belarusian star started the season in poor form, exiting the Australian Open in the fourth round before then failing to participate at Wimbledon. However, this year has already started much better for the talented 24-year-old.

She was a force to be reckoned with heading into the Grand Slam, and that form was maintained throughout a dominant run to the final Down Under. The final wasn’t without its issues, as Sabalenka lost the opening set to Elena Rybakina; the first set that she had dropped this season.

However, the chances of recovery always appeared likely, as she hadn’t lost a Grand Slam match after dropping the opening set on six previous occasions. Sabalenka took the second with ease before powering to victory in the decisive set with a 6-4 advantage. It was a monumental moment for the 24-year-old, as she finally landed the Grand Slam title that she had been promising to win for much of the past three years.

Rybakina Falls Short

Rybakina was a slightly different proposition for Sabalenka in the final, as she is one of the few players on the tour that can match the power boasted by the Belarusian player. Things appeared to be going her way after a comfortable opening set, but errors crept into her game in the second and third sets.

Still, the Kazak player will still take a huge amount of confidence out of her run at the Australian Open, which included a stunning straight sets win over world number one, Iga Swiatek, in the fourth round. Rybakina’s run to the final meant that she has now broken into the top ten of the tennis standings for the first time, and she looks set to be a prominent player in the remaining Grand Slams this year.

She landed victory at Wimbledon last year and will be a front-runner to successfully defend that honor. Before then, she will be bidding for a strong run at the French Open, and she would be hard to rule out after making the quarterfinals in 2021.

What’s Next?

The action on the WTA and ATP Tours continues this week. On the WTA circuit, players will be in action at the Lyon Open and Thailand Open. Meanwhile, male players will be competing in the Davis Cup qualifying round. The next Grand Slam of the season will get underway on Sunday, May 28, as the action moves to Roland Garros for the French Open.

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