Tournament of Upsets: A Review of the Australian Open

Aaron Phogat, Online News Editor

With amazing performances from grit-filled players such as Sophia Kenin to lovable on-court jokers such as Nick Kyrgios, the Australian Open started and ended with a bang in 2020. There were ample surprises and stuns throughout the tournament; 32nd seed Milos Raonic defeating sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round and teenage American star Coco Gauff defeating the defending champion and former world number one player Naomi Osaka in straight sets shocked us all. However, the tournament also presented an expected Men’s singles championship victory and a return for American women’s tennis. 

In the Men’s Singles flight, the big three–Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic–all battled their way to the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals respectively. Ultimately, Novak Djokovic defended his 2019 Australian Open title by prevailing over fifth seed Dominic Thiem in a formidable 5-setter in the finals. This win propelled him back to world number 1 and was his eighth Australian Open win. As junior Will Sedgley put it, “the end result was expected with Djokovic winning once again. However, it was closer than expected with thiem running him close.” Djokovic credited part of his win to his highly improved serve and volley; although you traditionally see Djokovic battling out points from the baseline and approaching the net when appropriate, he used his serve and volley as a nice change-up to give him the advantage. 

In the Women’s Singles flight, it was quite a stun to see eighth seed and former world number 1 Serena Williams take a fall in the third round to 27th seed Wang Qiang. Shocking to the rest of the world but a source of immense pride to the USA, 15 year old American Coco Gauff proceeded to defeat Naomi Osaka in the third round. In the finals, it boiled down to a battle between fourteenth seed Sophia Kenin and unseeded Garbiñe Muguruza. Taking home the trophy for the USA, Sophia Kenin won her first Grand Slam and became the youngest American woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. “The unpredictability of women’s tennis continued again, with not many predicting Kenin’s win,” said Sedgley. 

All in all, the Men’s AO 2020 singles had its fair amount of stuns but ultimately ended in an expected and decisive victory from Novak Djokovic. According to Canadian junior John Akbari, the tournament was particularly enchanting “when 32nd ranked defeated 6th ranked Tsitsipas because I like it when Canadians succeed.” The Women’s AO 2020 singles ended in a proud comeback for American women’s tennis led by Sophia Kenin. With her eyes on the prize in the Fed Cup 2020, Kenin will join forces with Serena Williams and other renowned American WTA players to play singles.