Surprising antics of the Australian Open

Keshav Amaro ('15)/ Eastside Opinions Editor

The first important tennis grand slam event just wrapped up on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. This two week hard-court event took place with great fervor among the Aussies.

During the men’s singles tournament, Juan del Potro fought a great second round match against Roberto Bautista Agut. Del Potro, the fourth seed from Argentina, was much anticipated to fall into a potential quarterfinal match-up. The Argentinian lost 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 lost to Roberto Agut. Agut, who is a 52 ranked Spaniard, caused one of the biggest upsets of the Australian Open.

The favorite, Rafael Nadal (1) fought through a back injury in the Men’s Final round. Stanislas Wawrinka, the number eight seed from Switzerland,  defeated Nadal in four sets 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Wawrinka started off very successfully in the first set, 6-3. Unfortunatley for Nadal, the second set proved taxing due to his back injury. After treatment, he was advised to pull out of the match, but continued regardless of the pain. It looked like the Spaniard had trouble moving around the court. This 13-time Grand Slam champion pushed his way with a 6-3 win in the third set, much to the shock of Warwinka. Still, he regained his bearings and broke Nadal twice to eventually win his first Grand Slam Title.

“It’s really not the way you want to win a tennis match, but in a Grand Slam final I’ll take it,” said Wawrinka in a press confrence.

The Women’s Singles Tournament heated up as third seed, Maria Sharapova, fought Italy’s Karin Knapp to win 6-3, 4-6, 10-8. This match went on for over three hours in extreme heat. Sharapova was concerned that the conditions were unplayable and proceeded to make many errors to lose the second set. After, Sharapova broke in the seventeenth game of the last set to take the lead and win the match.

“There is no way of getting around the fact that the conditions were extremely difficult, and have been for the last few days,” said Sharapova afterwards during an interview.

In the women’s final, number four seed Li Na closed the final game with a 7-6, 6-0 victory against Dominika Cibulkova. It started dreadfully, both players double faulting often in the first five games of the match. In that time, both had a combined 30 unforced errors. But soon, Li Na’s offensive push to end the tie breaker resulted in success. Shortly after this 70 minute battle, Na finished off the second set in a swift 6-0 win. For the Chinese prodigy, it was her third Australian Open final and brought her a second major title.

All of these champions will meet up again in the spring to play in the French Open.