Australian Open Recap and a Season Look-AheadFebruary 04, 2016

The Australian Open had never been more memorable. Lleyton Hewitt ending his storied career on Rod Laver Arena. Nick Kyrgios is dating Ajla Tomljanović. And some big names in the women's singles not reaching the second week.

Fans couldn't hope for a better ending, and some are wondering if it's too early to predict the season. Maybe not. Let's have a look at the results:

Novak Djokovic can surpass Roger Federer's major haul next year. There's no question that Melbourne Park is Novak Djokovic's favourite surface, as his straight-set win over Andy Murray puts him in tie with Roy Emerson for the most singles titles. He only had a hiccup in the fourth round, and his match (against Gilles Simon) went the distance. Other than that, the Serb was hardly challenged at all. (His four-set victory over Roger Federer in the semifinals was his most convincing win over the Swiss legend.) An Olympic gold medal seems a certainty, and fans see a fourth Wimbledon crown. But what about the French Open? This is the most unpredictable major event. Federer will skip the entire clay court season, as he rests for the grueling summer. (The Swiss had knee surgery. He would miss the ATP tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai.) Anything can happen in Roland Garros, and the Swiss might be lucky. But Djokovic is nearly unbeatable at the moment. He can surpass Federer's record of 17 Grand Slam singles titles next season.

Angelique Kerber is the new women's singles champion. And the fans are delighted. Angelique Kerber became the eleventh female player to win her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne during the Open Era. And she did put a good fight against Serena Williams, the six-time champion. Williams should be applauded for her good sportsmanship. (Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22 major titles remains standing.) Kerber is behind Williams in the latest WTA rankings, and her win means she has a good chance of winning a medal in the Summer Olympics. Fans are looking forward to her second major crown.

Bruno Soares is looking at Olympic gold in Rio. Perhaps the biggest winner in Melbourne is Bruno Soares. He and Jamie Murray won their first major title in men's doubles. He teamed up with Elena Vesnina and won the mixed doubles title. (It was his second Grand Slam mixed doubles crown.) Soares will play along Marcelo Melo, the current top-ranked doubles player, in Rio. The men's doubles is turning into an even field, and it remains to be seen if Bob and Mike Bryan will go back to their winning ways soon. A gold medal for Brazil in men's doubles is no longer a probability.

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