2022 Australian Open Recap

AP/Andy Brownbill, file

2022 Australian Open Recap

The 2022 Australian Open will be remembered for its history-making records and Australian success. Ash Barty became the first Australian to win the tournament since 1978, Nadal won his 21st Grand Slam title, and Kyrgios/Kokkinakis electrified the masses with their doubles win.

Just one of these narratives would have left me satisfied with the Australian Open this year. The fact that there were three big-time narratives going on made it that much sweeter. Let’s start with Ash Barty.

Barty seemed to play within herself at this tournament, not dropping a single set on her way to the title. The only true competition she faced was Danielle Collins, who herself had an exceptional run to the title match. More impressive was the fact that Barty came back from 1-5 down in the second set to take the set and the championship in a tie-break. You have to feel a little bad for Collins for letting that lead go. However, she can go home with her head held high and a career-high top 10 ranking. Collins has always been a dangerous competitor. One gets the feeling that she will back up her top 10 ranking throughout this year.

Onto Nadal who has now positioned himself nicely to go to Roland Garros and increase his lead over Federer and Djokovic. Unlike in Australia, Nadal will be the overwhelming favorite during the clay-court season and at the French Open. With Djokovic’s likely absence because of his anti-vax stance, there really isn’t anyone that will be able to challenge him in Paris. His 22nd Grand Slam title and 14th French Open title are in the cards.

Finally, we got to see Kyrgios’ talent on display in the doubles for a full two weeks of a Grand Slam tournament. Although it wasn’t in the singles, it was electrifying and entertaining either way. Kyrgios partnered with his close friend and equally talented Thanasi Kokkinakis to wreak havoc on the doubles elite for two full weeks. They got the crowds into frenzies and their opponents into a rage with their unique take on doubles. One can only hope that the feeling of winning a major title will bring Kyrgios closer to a more committed tennis career. The sport could really use his star power.

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