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Australian Open: Whole lotta history

Tennis

The GIST: The Aussie Open wrapped up with not one, but two history-making moments over the weekend. Oi oi oi, we’re feeling the joy.

January 31, 2022
AUSTRALIAN OPEN/TWITTER
AUSTRALIAN OPEN/TWITTER

The GIST: The Aussie Open wrapped up with not one, but two history-making moments over the weekend. Oi oi oi, we’re feeling the joy.

Men’s: Yesterday, world No. 5 Rafael Nadal won his record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, beating No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five hour, 24-minute final — just 29 minutes shy of the longest men’s Grand Slam final ever.

  • Nadal’s victory broke a tie with his fellow “Big Three” members Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for most men’s singles Grand Slam wins. That’s right, Nadal’s individual wins can now legally drink in the U.S.
  • And Rafa’s win is especially exceptional given that he was considering retiring just last month. No wonder Federer and Djokovic had high praise for their frenemy. Classy.

Women’s: World No. 1 Ash Barty made some history of her own Saturday when she became the first Australian woman to win the singles title at her home Slam since 1978. The straight sets final victory over now–world No. 10 American Danielle Collins capped off a dominant tourney for Barty, who didn’t lose a single set at the Open.

  • Barty’s just the second active women’s player to win a Grand Slam on all three surfaces (grass, clay and hard), joining Serena Williams. Decent company.

What’s next: Although there are a handful of tournaments in between, all eyes are on the next Grand Slam, the French Open (aka Roland Garros), in May. “The King of Clay” Nadal has a good chance to extend his Slams record, especially if Djokovic’s vaccination status keeps him off the court again.