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January 2019

​Best Shots and Rallies in Australian Open History

By raph sebbag 4 months ago 241 Views

With the first week of the 2019 Australian Open complete and Quarter Finals matches starting tomorrow (tickets here), we thought now is the perfect time to take a look at some of the best shots and rallies so far and in Australian Open History. Here they are below in no particular order. Enjoy.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal – 2017 Final

Federer Nadal 2017 Australian Open

This point was more than just a point it was the pinnacle of their 15 year rivalry. It was Roger Federer making a stand against Rafa and laying claim to being the undisputed Greatest of All Time. This point still gives chills.

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal - 2011 Final

Novak Djokovic after point against Nadal 2011 Australian Open Final

Possibly the greatest physical contest in tennis history. 2 of the best athletes on the planet battling it out at full intensity for almost 6 hours. This is perhaps the point that best captures the quality and brutality of the tennis.

Simona Halep vs Caroline Wozniacki - 2018 Final

Caroline Wozniacki

Last year’s Women’s finals was arguably the match of the tournament and one of the best finals played at Melbourne Park. Watch here as Wozniacki desperately defends before finally, finally winning her first Grand Slam title.

24-shot rally from Cornet and Mertens - 2018 3rd Round

Elize Cornet

Check out this rally which has a bit of everything with both players throwing themselves around the court like their lives depended on it.

Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka - 2013 4th Round

Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka 2013 Australian Open

Maria Sharapova vs Caroline Wozniacki - 2019 3rd Round

Maria Sharapova

A breath-taking rally between last year’s champion and a back in-form Sharapova. The rally goes back and forth with Wozniacki eventually gaining control of the rally and gets Sharapova on the run who then throws up an incredible left handed lob, winning the point from there.

Frances Tiafoe vs Andreas Seppi - 2019 3rd Round

Frances Tiafoe stretch volley

Another point from this year’s Australian Open, it features everything - a long rally, power, touch, angles, diving volleys and even an around the back trick-shot from Seppi. Tiafoe is currently in the Quarter Finals of the Aus Open with break out performances from the 20 year, and will be dangerous for Nadal.

These are just a few of countless highlights that the Australian Open has generated over the years. This year's edition will produce many more which you can watch live. Browse all available tickets* here.

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Top 5 Favourites for the 2019 Australian Open - Men's Edition

By raph sebbag 4 months ago 224 Views

The Australian Open is closing in fast, with just 1 week until Main Draw matches begin. So now is the perfect time to preview the players most likely to take home the prize. Today we’ll start with the Men’s side of the draw with the top 5 favourites to win the 2019 Australian Open.

1. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

After struggling for the previous 2 years, Novak showed signs of his former self during the middle part of the year and caught fire from Wimbledon onwards, winning that plus the US Open and 2 other titles. He would finish the year as the emphatic number 1. He struggled in his first tournament of the year but is still the favourite to be holding the 2019 Australian Open on January 27. When he's at his best he's almost unbeatable.

2. Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Arguably the one man who could stop an in form Djokovic is Roger Federer. Turning 38 years old this year, Roger somehow stays relevant and near the top of the Men's game, even briefly regaining the #1 ranking in 2018. He seems to come into the New Year with a fresh set of legs, winning the Australian Open the last 2 years to disbelieving onlookers. Any doubts about his age and physical condition this year have disappeared after an outstanding Hopman Cup performance and is a strong chance to take home his 21st grand slam title and 7th Australian Open.

3. Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafa is a bit more of a question mark heading into 2019 than last year. He ended last year early with foot surgery, and had to pull out of the Brisbane International citing a hamstring strain. But Rafa is a 17 time grand slam champion for very good reason, being one of the toughest competitors that ever lived. Even if struggling for form, he’s likely to make it through to the second week, by which time he could shake off any rust and hit his stride. He’s done it plenty of times before, so every reason to believe that he could do it again, which is why he remains one of the top favourites.

4. Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

While currently ranked number 4 in the world and winning 10 titles, Alexander Zverev has yet to live up to his potential, especially at Grand Slams where he is yet to make it past the Quarter Finals. But he ended the year with a major break-through, teaming up with Ivan Lendl (who helped Andy Murray to his first Grand Slam title) towards the end of the 2018 season, and defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic back to back to win the ATP Masters - his biggest title to date. If he can carry that sort of form and momentum into 2019, then we may finally see the first of the Next Gen Grand Slam Champions.

5. Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori played electrifying tennis on his run to the Brisbane International title and was simply too good. It looks like he’s put niggling injuries and doubt behind him and is back to his best. His serve looks to be improved too and is making an effort to shorten the points by coming the net, perhaps in an effort to reduce the strain on his injury prone body. If Kei gets a favourable draw and stays fit and healthy, expect him to make a deep run at this year’s Australian Open.

Aussies to Watch

Alexander de Minaur

Alex De Minaur won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award last year for a reason. He rocketed up the rankings from 208 to 31 in the world. What he lacks in power he makes up for with explosive speed and fighting grit. Given his rapid rate of improvement, he’s a good chance to make a run into the second week if the draw goes his way.

Similarly to De Minaur, John Millman lost to an in-form Grigor Dimitrov so it’s difficult to assess his form at this stage. Providing he’s fit and healthy, and gets through his first couple of matches he could become a troublesome opponent in the stiflingly hot conditions over 5 sets.

Nick Kyrgios will always be one to watch for better and for worse. He’s coming in with little tennis and preparation under his belt, but it’s possible with low expectations he’ll finally be able to perform up to his level of talent. We’ve all been waiting for him to replicate the kinds of performances that saw him get the better of Rafael Nadal on the way to the Quarter Finals of Wimbledon as a 19 year old. Unlikely this year, but who knows?

Bernard Tomic is making a return to the Australian Open after bailing out of the qualifying in 2017. He came out of nowhere to win the Chengdu Open last year with a welcome return to form. Tomic is taking his preparation more seriously this year, so may be a force to be reckoned with as he often plays his best tennis at the Australian Open.

See All the Action Live

There will be plenty more players and stories to watch at the 2019 Australian Open, and the best way to follow your favourite players is to see them live at Melbourne Park. Find tickets here.