History Was Made at the Australian OpenFebruary 03, 2015
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won the men's singles and women's singles titles respectively at the Australian Open last weekend. Both victories made it to the record books.
Williams was one of the favourites, having won in five occasions. She was also the top seed. But the winning form was missing during the Hopman Cup a few weeks ago. She lost to Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, the Wimbledon finalist, in the round-robin stage. Agnieszka RadwaÅ„ska handed Williams another defeat in the finals. (Poland would win their first Hopman Cup.) It was different during the first week of the Grand Slam event, where the American won comfortably during the first four rounds. (Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco of Spain managed to win a set from Williams.) Coming to the finals, the younger Williams had a huge advantage over Maria Sharapova. They met eighteen times, with the American winning sixteen of those matches. But the Russian, who won the title in 2008, was no pushover. Williams won in two sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Serena Williams has the most Australian Open titles in the Open Era at six. It's also her 19th Grand Slam title, which puts her in second place for the most major titles in the Open Era. (Steffi Graf holds the record at 22.) Margaret Court of Australia amassed more major crowns than any other players in history, winning 24 singles titles. But it doesn't seem to be out of reach for Williams. She has no plans of retiring soon.
Novak Djokovic can surpass Roy Emerson
Roy Emerson, one of the top Australian players during the 1960s, holds the record for the most men's singles titles at six. Novak Djokovic can surpass him soon. The Serbian won his fifth title last Sunday, defeating Andy Murray in four sets, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3. 6-0. It was fitting that Emerson presented the trophy.
"I'm so privileged and honoured and grateful to be standing here for the fifth time, to be in an elite group of players, with legends of our sport out here watching," he said.
Murray reached his four Australian Open finals, and his first under Amelie Mauresmo. The Scotsman defeated Tomáš Berdych in the semifinals, 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5. It was a tense match, as Daniel Vallverdu was the Czech's current coach. The former player had been in Murray's team for more than a decade. Kim Sears, Murray's fiancé, was the star of that match.
As for Djokovic, he moves into equal-eighth place with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall on the all-time list for most major titles. Up next is Roland Garros, the only major title eluding him. (He reached the finals in 2012 and 2014, both losing to Rafael Nadal.)
The mixed doubles finals was played prior to the Djokovic-Murray match. Leander Paes of India and Martin Hingis were the winners, making history too. For Hingis, it was her first major win after coming out of retirement in July 2013. Paes, on the other hand, won his 15th major title in doubles. It further cemented his legacy. At 41 years of age, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
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