For all of those who love tennis, Sunday the 29th of January was a historic event. Not only were the Australian open finals a throwback to the individual finals of 2008 Wimbledon, but the records in individual grand slam titles in the open era were broken in both, men and women.
The 2017 Australian Open men’s final was a 3-hour 37-minute long thriller that the Swiss Roger Federer managed to turn into his favor 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, after being a break down in the fifth to Rafael Nadal. No fans were disappointed, at least not due to the level of tennis that Federer and Nadal managed to play, after both having a tough last season in terms of injuries. Both of the players revealed to be surprised of reaching the final round, especially Federer, this being his first tournament since Wimbledon last June. The so called “Fedal” rivalry had been missed by the tennis world, but Rafa and Roger reminded us of why they are our favorite rivals, showing an enormous amount of respect for each other. Even though Rafa was naturally disappointed of losing he kindly congratulated the team Federer and said about Roger: “It is amazing how he is playing after all this time away from the tour. Congrats, I am very happy for you”. Roger later responded in his winning speech saying “Tennis is a tough sport, there’s no draws but if there was I’d be happy to share it with Rafa tonight…Keep playing Rafa please. Tennis needs you. Keep doing everything you do.” Certainly we enjoy watching their rivalry, but what would it be without their friendship.
Talking about historic rivalries, the Women’s final was nothing less. The Williams sisters Venus and Serena, who have been on the tour since 1994 and 1995 respectively, got to face each other in a major final again, after eight years. Venus being the oldest in the WTA top 100 and Serena having been a professional player for almost 22 years, the experienced sisters showed us that they are still the ones to watch. Serena fought her big sister to win the match 6-4 6-4, and to reclaim her position as the world number 1. Venus settled as the finalist, and while probably disappointed, was able to look very happy for her little sister. Combined the sisters have 62 major titles (individual, doubles and mixed doubles titles).
Serena and Roger also made history, raising the record of most individual grand slam titles. Roger has now 18 grand slam titles, which is the most titles any male tennis player has had. Serena has 23 individual major titles, which is the most for any tennis player in the open era.
These repetitions of the Wimbledon 2008 finals were worth the wait, and we’ll be waiting for another pair of these rivalries.