Australian Open A Stellar Start to 2014 Tennis

Andrew Vojt

The 2014 Australian Open was, simply put, fantastic tennis. In both the men’s and the women’s tournament, tennis fans witnessed fine play among countless upsets. If one could take anyway anything from the glorious two weeks Down Under, it would have to be a strong sense of hope for the future of tennis.

The ATP circuit has been dominated by disparity for over a decade. Coming into the Australian Open, the same three men had won 32 of the past 35 Grand Slam Championships. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have been the face of tennis for years, and ultimately entered Melbourne with high expectations.

The number two seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic looked destined to add a fourth consecutive title. After an easy ride to the quarterfinals, he faced off against eighth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka. The two played an amazing match the previous year and their rematch followed suit Wawrinka stunned Djokovic in an epic five-setter to advance to the semifinal. He took out Tomas Berdych to reach the final against Nadal, who battled injury throughout the tournament. The number-one seeded Nadal managed to fight off Federer, who looked to be in prime position to take on Wawrinka after upsetting upstart Brit Andy Murray. The final was characterized by efficient play from both sides, but Nadal’s injury  proved to be too much for him to outlast Wawrinka. He almost had to retire in the second set after requiring a trainer for his back, but powered through til the very last point. Wawarinka in the process won his first career Grand Slam Title, capping off a tournament in which he simply worked the hardest. He effectively demonstrated during this great tournament that the top players are able to be defeated, which might inspire the younger players during the 2014 season.

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