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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Grand Slam season is here

An overview of the Australian Open

The Australian Open began Jan. 16 in Melbourne. The Australian Open is the debut of the Grand Slam season, hosting World No. 1s and former World No. 1s. This year’s former World No. 1s are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal who competed in Melbourne. 

Maryland native Frances Tiafoe was eliminated in the fourth round of the Open after being defeated by Russian righthander Karen Khachanov,  6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9). The match led to a tiebreak, but unfortunately for Tiafoe, Khachanov won the tiebreak 9-7.

Growing up in Hyattsville, a city 30 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., Tiafoe grew up with a love for tennis after spending time in a Maryland tennis center, where his father was employed as a custodian. 

Tiafoe advanced further than his fellow American, Taylor Fritz. Fritz lost to Australian righthander, Alexei Popyrin, 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2, in the second round. 

Jessica Pegula did not have such a quick exit. Pegula dominated the courts until her downfall against former World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, in the fourth round. The third seed, Pegula, lost to Azarenka, 6-4 6-1. 

Pegula did not disappoint the United States throughout the Australian Open. Pegula, who is the highest-ranked American woman in the tournament, advanced farther than Fritz, the highest-ranked American man in the tournament. Pegula advanced to the quarter finals, 

while Fritz only made it to the second round.

Pegula is currently the women’s World No. 4 after playing in the Australian Open. Prior to the Open, her career high was No. 3. She is currently ranked as the top American tennis player. Ranking two spots above Coco Gauff. Hopefully, as the Grand Slam season progresses, the third seed will gain more recognition for her talent. 

American Tommy Paul went up against Australian Open title champion Djokovic in the semi-finals. The face off was unexpected, yet former World No. 1 Djokovic dominated the match, winning 7-5, 6-1, 6-2. Djokovic took home his tenth Australian Open title this year. 

The Australian Open means Grand Slam season is here, and with performances such as Paul’s and Pegula’s, Americans may be dominating this season. 

Edited by Liah Argiropoulos, Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis and Sophia Rocha.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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