The 2020 Australian Open is in the books as it once again produced some memorable tennis action over the past couple of weeks.
The men’s side produced the winner many expected as Novak Djokovic overcame a tough battle by Dominic Thiem to claim his eighth career Aussie Open crown.
However, the women’s side produced an unexpected champion in Sofia Kenin, who came out of nowhere to claim her very first Grand Slam title.
Before we all move on from Melbourne and onto the next stops in the young season, allow SBOTOP to provide a brief breakdown of both the men’s and women’s singles finals.
Novak Djokovic outduels Dominic Thiem in five-set thriller
Novak Djokovic’s run of dominance at the Australian Open looked all but over. The 32-year-old, who had never lost an Aussie Open final (7-0), was down two sets to one to Dominic Thiem. At one point, he had lost six consecutive games to the Austrian.
But despite some apparent physical ailment which caused him to call medical timeouts, Djokovic came roaring back to top Thiem in five sets, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Djokovic made a brilliant start to the match, immediately breaking Thiem as he stormed to a 4-1 lead in the first set. Thiem recovered to tie it all up at 4-4, but Djokovic was able to get another crucial break and win the first set, 6-4.
The second set was once again a close encounter and was tied at 4-4. It was also an eventful one as Djokovic was called for two time violations, which caused him to lash out at the umpire. Thiem went on to win the next two games as an ailing Djokovic called for a medical timeout.
“After I lost the second set, I start to feel really bad on the court. My energy dropped significantly,” Djokovic admitted post-match.
However, the medical timeout didn’t seem to be of much help as he fell to a 0-4 hole to Thiem in the third set, which eventually finished 6-2 to the Austrian.
But Djokovic revealed that he regained his energy midway in the fourth set, and it showed as he reclaimed command of the match. He went on to win the last two sets to complete the impressive comeback in exactly four hours of match time.
With this win, Djokovic has now won 17 career Grand Slam titles, three behind all-time leader Roger Federer (20) and two behind Rafael Nadal (19).
Sofia Kenin tops Garbine Muguruza for first career Grand Slam title
Sofia Kenin is now an Australian Open champion. The 21-year-old American simply came out of nowhere and defied the Australian Open 2020 predictions as she claimed her first career Grand Slam title in Melbourne.
Kenin’s magical run filled with many Australian Open 2020 highlights — like her victory stunning straight-sets victory over No. 1 Ashleigh Barty — looked like it would be coming to an end after Garbine Muguruza won the first set of the final, 6-4.
It was just the second set Kenin had lost all tournament after also dropping the first set in her comeback win over teenage sensation Coco Gauff.
And much like her match against Gauff, Kenin stormed back in impressive fashion as she won the next two sets 6-2 to win the title.
“This is my first speech, but I’m going to try my best,” Kenin said post-match. “My dream officially came true. I am so emotional. I have worked so hard. These have been the best two weeks of my life.”
She added: “I’m so proud of myself, my dad, my team, everyone that has been around me. We’ve all worked hard. We’ve been through tough times. We did it. We fought. I’m on cloud nine.”
Kenin is now up to No. 7 in the world rankings and is the top-ranked American woman, passing Serena Williams. She is the youngest American woman to debut in the top 10 since Williams in 1999. She is also the youngest champion in Melbourne since her idol, Maria Sharapova won as a 20-year-old in 2008.
And as Muguruza conceded after the match, if Kenin keeps playing like how she played in Melbourne, she will go on to win more Grand Slam titles in her career.
“She proved to us that she can play very well,” Muguruza said. “And play very well in the important moments, which is a different story. I think it’s even more special.”
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