The first Slam of the year came to a close last night so ya girl is back here with my parting thoughts from the Majors. This is the start of the second year of me writing these up at the end of the four Grand Slam tournaments, you can go back and read all of last year’s ones here. I also did a pre-AO points to defend which is fun to look back at and laugh on because the predictions that were in there were totally wrong, but the sentiment remains and I still believe the actual points lol.
As always, I take 0 credit for these posts and this idea. Absolutely stolen off of Jon Wertheim who writes his fifty Slam parting thoughts on Sports Illustrated which I always enjoy. Like I always say, the difference here is that you get the perspective of a twenty year old fashion blogger who has only been watching tennis proper seriously for like three years at the most and can’t actually play to save her life – remember this moment from the men’s final? That’s me every time I try to play.
I’m obviously going to start with Andy Murray. On the Friday before the tournament started – what feels like forever ago now – Andy Murray went into press around 11 in the morning to declare that he had planned to retire at Wimbledon this year, but that his hip was now at the point where he didn’t know if he’d even make it, and he might instead never play after the AO. I wrote a v emotionally charged blog post on Andy Murray and his upcoming retirement that same day, so go read that instead of me repeating myself, especially when it’s probably redundant now.
And that’s the point, it’s probably redundant now!! After giving us one of the matches of the tournament, definitely the best men’s match by miles, against Roberto Bautista Agut, Andy was interviewed on court and basically invited to his own tennis funeral. A video of dozens of top ATP and WTA players wishing him well for his retirement played, Mark Petchey interviewed him talking about if this is the end, and Muzza suddenly whips out that he’s gonna try be back next year. You can imagine the actual joy I felt. Anyway, the TL;DR is that Muzza can either take the next few months off, play Wimbledon as a guaranteed final match at his home Slam, and then retire. Or he can have further surgery on his hip which he’s having to ‘improve the qualify of his life’ as he puts it, though athletes have come back from that surgery before incl. one of the Bryan brothers just recently, and he can see if he’s able to come back and play tennis after that though there’s no guarantee. We’re all obviously hoping for the latter. It’s worked for Bob Bryan and even though doubles is a whole different game to singles, is there a more hard working man on the ATP Tour than Andy Murray? I’d love to sit down and write this post next year, and Muzza’s done what Federer and Nadal did there in 2017.
I still can’t wrap my head around Naomi Osaka’s greatness. It’s been a couple of days and I’m still failing to fully wrap my head around the fact that Naomi Osaka has won the last two Grand Slams back to back as a 20/21 year old, and shot up from 72 in the rankings to number one in the world in the space of a year. I literally can’t fully comprehend it. I full well know what Naomi’s accomplished but it’s so great that it seems too impossible, so my brain is having trouble registering it because it just shouldn’t be possible. Especially in the current climate of the women’s side of the game, if you wanna call it that. Female tennis as a sport is so strong and has so much depth, anyone in the top 50 is capable of stepping up and winning a huge title seemingly out of nowhere. The last eight Slam winners on the women’s side before this Slam were all eight different women. Women’s tennis is far more competitive so it’s far less likely you’ll win more than one Slam in a year, let alone back to back. And Naomi is scarily good, I wouldn’t be surprised if she picked up more Slams this year, I wouldn’t even be surprised if she won every single one this year. She’s almost become that unbeatable, untouchable player. Three weeks before winning the AO she had a tough loss in Brisbane, one she was openly disappointed in and one that made her want to be better and more mature. She’s a hella fast learner. Second Slam in a row and world number one just 21 days after a loss of that kind. Wow. Scary good.
It’s the Novak of 2015/16 all over again. Early 2016, pre-Wimbledon might I add. And even then, the rest of his season was incredible for anyone else. When he lost to RBA in Doha everyone was a bit ??? and questioned if he could win the title here. Whilst the back end of last year for him was unreal, his losses to Khachanov and Lil Z in back-to-back finals in Paris and London made him seem like he was still beatable and still not on his 2015 level where even the greats of the game couldn’t come close in a match against him. That doubt was solidified after his Doha loss. Novak was not at all my favourite coming into the AO. Novak wasn’t even my favourite in that final until they started playing. I feel like the phrase ‘bully off the court’ is a bit overused in tennis (or maybe I listen to too much Tennis Podcast???) but my god did Novak bully Rafa the way year seven me would get pushed to the floor and kicked by some bitch girl lol x. Like, Novak’s form right now is terrifying. I’m scared. I would not be surprised if all of his opponents now had severe night terrors. Novak’s form in that final is the scariest thing I have ever encountered. Scarier than rejection. I’d rather tell a boy I fancy them than play Novak in that form (not that I could even play the world number 300 in their worst form but ykno). It’s just scary.
I properly did sleep is for the weak this year. I’ve woken up for random AO and US Open matches a few times in the last two and a half years, even for good matches in ATP and WTA tournaments that happen overnight here. But it’s only once or twice a tournament, and it’s usually waking up at like 2 or 3 for a couple hours then going back to sleep as if it had never happened. This year, out of the fourteen days of the AO, I spent more than half of them waking up at a time that started with the number 5 in the AM. Whether it was for a match at that time or because I wanted to fit the gym in between the day session and night session, I was a true #sleepisfortheweak trooper. I can’t believe I did it. This morning I woke up at half seven and found it really late. It was sort of nice in a way but I think the magic of a Grand Slam makes me actually able to do it, like it’s actually worth it. Once you’re up and have the day started it’s reeaalllyyyy nice to be starting it a good few hours earlier than normal but it’s not worth it when it’s not for something. Thank god the AO only lasted two weeks because I was just about done by the semi finals. I would not be able to sustain living like that. But, if you’re a proper keen tennis fan then I 10/10 recommend being part of sleep is for the weak for two weeks out of your year.
Rafa was a different player this fortnight. Rafa in the final was a different player – in a bad way. Last year there was nothing I wanted and believed in more than Rafa winning AO18 and getting his double career Slam and just living his best life. But injuries. So this year, as much as I wanted the same, I curbed my hopes and dreams because of the way his injuries really held him back last year from almost every tournament. Then the tournament went on, he was playing like a new man, and my hopes and dreams returned. Rafa in the final was not great. Just not rly great was he. BUT let’s keep in mind how long he spent out of the game, how he had to pull out of Brisbane and everything. Any of us, Rafa included, would’ve signed up for this run he had on the eve of the tournament, even with the one-sided final. Rafa’s level is obviously there, it’s just not there there enough for him to be able to beat an insane player like Novak – yet. He’ll learn a lot from this, he’s got more matches under his belt, and come Indian Wells and Miami (let alone clay!!) he’ll be as much of a night terror as Novak.
The ATP milk their Next Gens down to every last drop, the WTA don’t bother and their 97 baby wins back to back Slams and becomes #1. Pretty self explanatory. I just find it a bit funny and ironic how the ATP really push this whole Next Gen campaign – so much promo, a whole bloody event, the creation of the #NextGen name in the first place – and ain’t none of them done what gals like Osaka and Ostapenko did winning Slams aged 20. None of them are Aryna Sabalenka. The biggest younger guy breakthrough at a Slam so far is Thiem’s RG final last year and he’s technically too old for the Next Gen campaign. Just more proof to me that women’s tennis is the elite.
At the same time, I’m so sick of pundits slagging off teen to early 20s players. In the sense that they expect so much of them and if they’ve failed to achieve it by their mid-twenties they’re a failure. Would Lil Zverev have done better at Slams had he not had all this pressure put on him? It’s just when the commentators or presenters or pundits talk about any player in their teens or early twenties as if they’re a failure or they’re too immature. Do y’all not remember yourselves at that age? The older I get, the more I understand that the players around my age shouldn’t be expected to be super mature and polished and accomplish everything. When I was a kid, I thought I’d know it all by twenty. And fuck me have I got a lot to figure out still. I would have a mental breakdown on the hour every hour of every day if I was a tennis player, so can we pls cut the kids some slack?
The Serena Halep match. This was my de-facto final. And I genuinely believed it was the de-facto final, whoever won that match was surely winning the title in my eyes. Not in Osaka’s eyes but ok whatever. I just want to give that match the appreciation it deserves and give it its own point. The way it started with Simo breaking and giving everyone a shock, Serena winning the next six games in a row or something, then the battle of the next two sets. Unreal.
Pouille continued Sir Muzza’s legacy with Amelie Mauresmo. Lucas Pouille had a relatively disappointing year for him last year. He brought Mauresmo on as a coach I think during the off-season, came to the Hopman Cup with her and lost all his singles matches, and people sorta expected the same type of season as he had in 2018. That all changed at the AO. With Mauresmo in his box he made it to his first ever Slam semi with some insanely impressive wins over Coric and Raonic on the way. He openly voiced how there should be more female coaches on the tours and how they all do the same job anyway. Thanks Pouille bby love you. We need more ATP men fighting the good fight, especially with Muzza maybe gone.
Kvitova’s comeback is nothing short of a miracle. If you don’t know, Petra Kvitova had her home broken into in late 2016 and was attacked. Her left hand, her tennis playing hand, was stabbed badly. She didn’t know if she’d ever play tennis again, let alone make another Slam final and reach her career-best ranking of number two again. I just love Petra. She’s an angel, she’s one of the sweetest gals on tour. To see her having all of this success after what she went through is the most heartwarming thing ever and nobody deserves it more.
Women’s tennis is such a superior sport, it makes it even worse that they still see inequalities. I’ve spoken about the depth of the women’s field already. I’ve also written about sexism in tennis already. But I just can’t believe that amongst all this ATP Cup / Davis Cup / Laver Cup drama, the gals are being forgotten again. The Fed Cup is being left behind. All of the Australian warmup tournaments before the AO are being forgotten. The ATP Cup is all fine and good until you get out of your ignorance-is-bliss bubble and realise that the women are being left behind. And I just find it a bit funny that in tennis it’s the women being left behind when their field is stronger and more competitive.
On that note, all of this ATP Cup / Davis Cup / Laver Cup / Chris Kermode drama is like Brexit. Cba. It actually hurts my head. It’s so annoying that the sport I love and enjoy (lol wet) is plagued by some Brexit-style shit when I’ve gotta hear enough about Brexit as is. My thoughts? Do one big Hopman Cup, if you wanna do an ATP Cup do it but not when it affects the gals, keep Chris Kermode you actual divvys, Laver Cup is the best tournament in existence and my family has already booked the Geneva AirBnB for this year’s tournament. Davis Cup is the one most similar to Brexit for me. In my opinion (only my opinion in my view in my eyes pls do not get into a debate here cba I’m just tryna chat tennis) a big part of the reason Brexit was voted for was cos the British public didn’t rly like the government so they wanted something to change so they voted for the only change in terms of politics that they were given – leaving the EU. Ofc this didn’t solve the issue with our own personal government, if anything it got worse. I see Davis Cup as similar. The format was old and outdated and archaic, something needed to change, but it shouldn’t have been these changes, especially not from some footballer peacocking about with his money and power. The changes were voted in because people knew the Davis Cup needed to change, this just wasn’t the way to do it.
The Australian media’s obsession with Nick Kyrgios is embarrassing and laughable. I mean this generally speaking ofc, and I’m also too tired to go find actual examples, but it’s when some of them said shit like oh yeah Alex de Minaur did so well against Rafa he saved a couple match points amongst his thrashing lol Kyrgios could never. You know why Kygs could never?? He didn’t need to save match points babe he literally beat Rafa at Wimby when he was younger than I am now. It’s not the tennis media, especially not anymore. We know Kygs, we know what he’s like. But the Australian media have an actual obsession with him. They have an ongoing narrative of him being a bad boy, even an actual bad person. They’re totally wrong about all of it but of course it’s far easier to contribute and add to an existing narrative instead of creating a new one. Be vigilant kiddies, don’t fall for what the media want you to fall for x
The doubles results made me smile. Herbert and Mahut achieved the career Slam, two v lovely guys who deserve all the best. And Sam Stosur won the women’s doubles on home soil alongside Zhang Shuai. Just all round really nice people who deserved all the success they had here. Lots of love.
The Uber Eats adverts are the work of a genius. The best advertisement / marketing strategy I’ve ever seen. So clever. So funny. So on it. A. Concept. I’m obsessed with them. Watch Rafa’s, Kygs’ and Stefanos’.
Everyone asking what next for Roger Federer? needs to stop. You wanna know what’s next for Roger Federer? Proving y’all wrong. Ok he’s lost matches he on paper shouldn’t have lost at the last year’s worth of Slams (cos he didn’t play RG) but that’s just on paper. We all know that nothing’s guaranteed in tennis, GOAT or not. Ok, an inspired 20yo Tsitsipas knocked out the two in a row defending champion. Yes, it’s an upset, but so what? What does it say about Federer’s career? And didn’t y’all see how tight the scoreline was? And just because Federer’s playing clay are we gonna keep speculating the retirement that’s been speculated about for as long as I’ve been watching tennis? I think we all shut up about Fed retirement rumours and reading into everything he says and does, and just enjoy him for however long is left. A year, ten years, I don’t rly care. Just enjoying the ride x. In all seriousness, I’m so super excited to see Roger play clay because as long as I’ve been watching tennis seriously enough to also watch clay tournaments, he hasn’t played them.
I never realised what a good time the AO comes at for me. This is the second year in a row where it’s ended the day before the first day of the new uni semester. I’m home for six weeks over Christmas properly, pop back to do any exams or lectures or whatever, but I move back properly for six weeks in total. The men’s final is on the Sunday morning, I move back to uni the Sunday night, and I start uni again on the Monday. It’s the best schedule for me. It feels like my own New Year. I really didn’t realise it until yesterday. You go home for Christmas, enjoy all the festivities, the New Year comes, and that’s it. Except for me I get two weeks of the AO, spend the two weeks all happy and buzzin because there’s good tennis on, and once it’s over I feel refreshed and positive and ready to start the new semester. Cringiest thing ever but wasn’t I trying to tackle those cringe issues x
Where the fuck is the Kia Man? It can’t be an Australian Open without him, sorry. This is the second year in a row he wasn’t at the finals and I want to start a petition and go fund me and everything until we get him back where he belongs. The actual disrespect of not having him at the trophy ceremony for the last two years is a bit too much.
Special mentions for Anisimova, Collins, Tiafoe and Tsitsipas. I knew about the former two because of their results around IW and Miami last year so I won’t lie, I wasn’t that shocked that they pulled off the upsets that they did. Especially in the women’s game when, for the millionth time of me saying this, there’s so much depth. Tiafoe has had a fair bit of pressure, especially by the US media, put on him to be the next big thing in tennis. Not Lil Zverev level, but still enough. He might not have always delivered in everyone’s eyes but he really announced himself here, racking up hella impressive wins over Anderson and Dimitrov en route to his first Slam QF. Tiafoe is so loveable idk how anyone couldn’t be happy for him, and I’m hoping this takes some pressure off. Tstisipas, what do I actually need to say here? A semi final run for a boy the same age as me, defeating the man who won the tournament the last two years in a row, just living his best life talking about vlogging every day. 11/10 tournament for these four.
Well there ya go. Hope you enjoyed. If you came here for the tennis, pls stick around because I post about tennis super regularly! If you came here as one of my normal followers who doesn’t understand tennis lol sorry thanks for sticking with it, more normal posts later this week.
See you after Roland Garros to do it all over again x