Australian Open 2023: Last Man Standing

Patrick M (Year 11)

Australian Summer means Australian Sports. And while I love watching the Boxing Day test, there is a special place in my heart for one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. The Australian Open. Taking place over 2 weeks, various doubles and singles tournaments take place, with the most prestigious events being the Men’s and Women’s Singles.  

The Australian Open is the first of four tennis majors (also known as Grand Slams) annually, alongside the American, French, and English competitions. This makes the Australian Open one of the largest global sporting events in Australia, with competitors travelling from over 50 different countries to compete.   

While the first round saw no major upsets, the second round brought multiple unexpected results that significantly changed the landscape of the competition. #1 ranked Rafael Nadal shockingly lost in three sets to the relatively unknown Mackenzie McDonald, as well as Casper Rune (#2) and Taylor Fritz (#8) both exiting the competition.   

This year I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Melbourne and watch two nights live, and fortunately, I got to see two exciting matches. The first night was between qualifier Enzo Couacaud, and unarguably one of the GOATs, Novak Djokovic. This match, however, was one of many in Djokovic’s domination this year, as he inevitably took the victory. The second night, however, saw another major upset in Sebastian Korda (#29) taking the match against Daniil Medvedev (#7). Medvedev came into the competition with much more experience on the Melbourne courts, however, Korda’s unshakable confidence and dominance across the entire court took him to victory. Overall, watching live was a great experience, and one I would recommend to fans of tennis at every level.  

As the competition entered its second week, two competitors on opposite halves of the draw became apparent front-runners – Stefanos Tsitsipas (#3) from Greece, and the aforementioned Novak Djokovic (#4) from Serbia. Leading up to the match, both players had relatively easy paths to victory, however, Djokovic was the clear favourite to win. With 21 Grand Slam wins compared to Tsitsipas’ 0, It was no surprise that Djokovic carved up on Sunday night, winning in straight sets.   

After his win, Djokovic said about his career, “I feel like I’ve given my best, and I’m still doing that-”, which demonstrates his steadfast drive and passion for tennis at 35 years old. Many people have claimed over the years that Djokovic is part of the “Big Three” tennis players of this generation, alongside Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, with Federer’s retirement at the end of last season, and Nadal’s shock exit alongside ongoing health issues, it seems that Djokovic may be the last man standing from this golden generation of tennis players.   

 With this victory, Djokovic is now tied with Nadal for the all-time most grand slam wins at 22 each. Djokovic, however, shows no signs of stopping, as he is optimistic about the future of his career, as well as the future of tennis as a whole.