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The Australia Open: Men’s Coverage

Bradford Yau, Writer

The Australian Open considered a. Some may consider it the staple of professional tennis, as it is the “happiest Grand Slam” there is. However, this year it is known as the “upset slam”, as many new stars have emerged from this tournament. Just in this tournament alone, we have seen the usual stars on the men’s side fall, such as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Alexander Zverev. However, this has granted spots for a few new talents that people have fallen in love with, which has made this tournament one that is very enjoyable to watch.

Looking at some of these new stars, one has been a player who has been steadily improving for the last year. Hyeon Chung of South Korea has had his breakout moment in this year’s Australian Open. Not only did he make the semifinals of this illustrious tournament, but he also defeated a lot of worthy opponents to get to this juncture. This group includes former five-time champion and former world number one Novak Djokovic and current world number four Alexander Zverev. Looking closer at Chung’s game style, however, it is no surprise that he made a deep run. He has a playing style that seen as a player who is a blend of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In terms of Nadal, he has a relentless motor that does not tire. Not only does he have the same physicality that can last him through five sets on any given day, but he has the mental grit that is extremely hard to break. However, some point out that he is more like Djokovic. This is mainly due to the fact that as a kid, Chung idolized Djokovic and wanted to just be like him as a player. This is evident in the shot selection, as most of Chung’s shots come in the middle of the court, otherwise known as a “high percentage shot”. The future is bright with the South Korean, and expect him to have a big run in the next tournament, that is the French Open.

Even though Chung was a huge shock to have a deep run in this tournament, nothing compares to the lone American who made it to the Quarterfinals. Tennys Sandgren shocked the tennis community with a debut run all the way to the final eight. This was mainly due to his previous history, as he is a player who had only won two high level matches in his entire career. A product of the University of Tennessee, no one expected Sandgren to have a chance at the ATP level. Despite this, he not only qualified for this tournament and earned his first ever sponsorship, but he also had two top 10 victories against very worthy opponents in Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. His deep run also marked the first time a player in his very first Grand Slam debut made the Quarterfinals with two top ten victories, which is a very impressive accomplishment. The big question mark is if he can continue this strong run, but with everything that has been pointed so far, Tennys is poised to play some great tennis in the future.

Overall, the men’s side of the Australian Open has been filled with unpredictability. However, it had in a happy ending for legendary Roger Federer ,as he now hoists his 20th Grand Slam: the most in the history of the sport. We look forward to seeing some of the new prospects thrive in the future.

Photo courtesy of THENATIONAL.AE

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The Australia Open: Men’s Coverage