The 2017 Australian Tennis open, which took place at Melbourne Park, was an exciting two weeks of excellent tennis with the older generation winning the men’s and women’s single crowns.
The men’s single final with Roger Federer (SWI) against Rafa Nadal (SPA) was a classic 5 set final with Federer managing to win the final and decisive set 6-3. The women’s final pitted the Williams sisters (Venus and Serena – USA) with Serena winning out to become champion.
I managed to get a day’s worth of action on day 8 with action in the iconic Margaret Court Arena.
This included a men’s doubles match with the Bryan brothers (USA) taking on Baker (USA) and Mektic (Croatia). The number 3 seeds the Bryan brothers won this match 6-3 7-6. This was a tight game particularly in the second set with the heat rising on the court.
Before the next women’s singles match on the Margaret Court Arena, I took in a few of the Junior Boys and Girls matches including Yuki Naito (JPN) VS
Eleonora Molinaro (LUX). This match went to three sets with Naito winning 2-6 61 6-3. It was interesting to see how high these smaller girls had to jump to get a winning shot.
One of the junior boys matches pitted well supported local Australian favourite Chase Ferguson against Ergi Kirkin (TUR) which Ferguson won after an epic tie-break in the first set followed by a tight second set 7-6 6-4
The tennis at the Junior’s games was excellent with the tension palpable with these players trying to make it up to the main draw in a couple of years. This would match what Swiss player (and 18 time Grand Slam Champion) Roger Federer did 20 years ago with his first appearance in Melbourne, initially as a Junior.
Going back to the Margaret Court Arena the next game pitted the British player Johanna Konta (but who was born in Sydney) against Russian player Ekaterina Makarova. This game was marked by several unsuccessful appeals on line calls by the Russian player, before Konta won 6-1 6-4. While the first set was one sided with Makarova getting wound up with the line calls, the second was much closer with only one break of serve.
The win set Konta for her next match against eventual champion Serena Williams (USA).
The final women’s single’s match I saw was the match of Jennifer Brady (USA) against Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. This saw 34 year old Lucic-Baroni return to Melbourne nearly 20 years after her Junior success as Lucic. After several years out and getting married she was on a run which saw her beat Brady, and then a couple of days later no 5 seed Karolina Pliskova (CZE). She then was defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champion Serena Williams.
The players should all be applauded with coping with the 35C temperatures and accompanying humidity. The players have moved onto other ATP ranked tournaments with the next Grand Slam at Roland Garros in France in May/June 2017.