It is over, and it was worth it. Australian Open 2021 finished today, and Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are now celebrating their well-deserved titles. The first Grand Slam of the season was a celebration for all tennis fans. Finally, we saw fans on the stands that made good atmosphere. The tournament was able to overcome some difficulties (quarantine before the tournament and a five-day ban on spectators), which is good for tennis. Let us look at the Australian Open 2021 once again and enjoy our thoughts-after below.
How about our predictions?
Australian Open 2021 Winners: Djokovic and Osaka
Let’s compare the reality with our pre-season and pre-tournament predictions.
Not bad at all. Finally, I am satisfied with the way how I guessed it.
Ladies Singles: Osaka era just started
Naomi Osaka survived two match points against Muguruza in Round of 16, and that was the breaking point. Nobody had a chance in later rounds, not even Serena Williams.
I was doubtful before the tournament and picked Barty as the winner at the last moment. Osaka proved me wrong, and I believe she will dominate ladies’ tennis in the coming months and years.
Serena Williams’s era came to an end, and now we are in Osaka (and Barty and Halep) years.
Jennifer Brady (and Jessica Pegula and Karolina Muchova) proved that the pool of possible winners in any tournament is enormous. Brady was 24 in WTA ranking before the Australian Open, Muchova stayed at 27th place, and Pegula at 61st place.
In WTA tennis, nothing is granted. Almost any player coming to any tournament can win it.
No matter if you are number 5 or number 65, you just need to believe in yourself. And that is the thing I like very much about women’s tennis.
Men Singles: Novak is the best
Novak Djokovic proved again that he is the best at the moment.
He had his problems during the tournament (Round of 32 against Fritz), but he handled them. Djokovic is the player who never gives up, who fights till the last ball is played.
I think he deserved his 18th Grand Slam title, and I also believe it is not his last Grand Slam celebration. Federer and Nadal have 20 Grand Slam trophies, and I really think Djokovic will have more at the end of his career.
His final opponent Daniil Medvedev played a great tournament in the last two weeks. His wins over Tsitsipas and Rublev were master performances.
Though, the final tennis is a different type of tennis. It would help if he had a strong head too. The experience is very important.
Australian Open 2021 was Medvedev’s second Grand Slam Final (after the US Open 2019 loss with Nadal) and definitely was not his last one.
Just look at Dominic Thiem. He lost three times in Grand Slam Final (Roland Garros 2020, 2019, Australian Open 2020) before putting his hands on the trophy (US Open 2020).
I guess Medvedev will show up in Slam final again and eventually take the trophy in two or three years.
Other observations: The end of line referees
One thing is clear. Nobody missed the line referees, players challenge, or arguing about the outs and ins.
It raised a lot of discussions last year when hawk-eye substituted line-referees. Many thought it was just temporarily until Covid disappears.
Now it is clear that hawk-eye will stay with us probably forever. We will see line referees in small tournaments without sufficient money to invest in technology. Bigger tournaments (500 + 1000 + Grand Slams) will prefer a smooth play over costs.
The only question remaining is: what about clay courts? Eventually, we will move to hawkeye also at Roland Garros, and other big clay tournaments will follow the course. Maybe not this year, but being a life referee is not a good place to be in terms of long-term employment.
Other observations: Bookmakers failed
The odds on Djokovic – Medvedev match were pretty unusual. Bookmakers relied on what they saw during two weeks and completely forgot about the past stats and probability.
#AusOpen Winners Poll – Men Singles
Djokovic 63% – Medvedev 37%
That should imply odds: 1.59 – 2.70
— Tennis Pro Guru (@tennisproguru) February 20, 2021
And those who follow our recommendations are now enjoying the small reward.
The next Grand Slam tournament will start in May in Paris, but we will watch and follow many great tournaments and matches around the globe till that time. Check the tournament calendar or follow our weekly “this week on courts” articles or vote in our French Open 2021 Winners Poll now.