The Australian Open 2016: The Round Up

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Winners again! Santina winning their third consecutive Grand Slam (AP Images)

G’day everybody guys,

Well it’s been less than a week since the conclusion of the 2016 Australian Open (feels much longer right?) and now that it’s all over we thought we would take a look back at the #HappySlam that was….

The Hellos from the other side

JO KONTA

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Isn’t it exciting when you see a player suddenly progress? When they have a fresh ferocity that takes them boldly to the latter stages of tournaments? Since the summer, Konta had a positively drastic change in mentality- thus proving how important that aspect of the sport is. This, alongside her improving game, sent her to the semi-finals where she became the first British woman in 33 years to reach a Grand Slam semi final. She was defeated in straight sets by Angelique Kerber but she didn’t really lose. She’s now a top 30 player. This time last year her ranking was 147.

OMAR JASIKA

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No surprises here, unless you haven’t read our feature posts. And if that’s the case, what are waiting for? Omar announced his arrival as part of the new batch of Aussie talent with a first round victory over Illya Marchenko. He backed it up with a solid performance against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his Aus Open Debut.

 

DARIA GAVRILOVA AKA DASHA

Dasha made waves when she reached the 4th round before falling to 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro. She showed great determination and passion in her 3 set defeat of the in-form Kiki Mladenovic and not only did the new Aussie make fans for her on court performance she also made fans off court. From her cute (and sometimes cheeky) on court interviews to her funny social media posts including this gem…

 

 

 The Goodbyes- Don’t dream it’s over

LLEYTON HEWITT

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Saying farewell at the Australian Open was the only way Lleyton Hewitt could say farewell. His final singles match was a second round three setter against David Ferrer. His final doubles match (partnered with Sam Groth) was a straight set loss to Pospisil and Sock in the third round. But through all his matches he showed the one thing you know you are going to get when you see a Hewitt match… Passion! (or passsionfire as we like to call it).

It is that part of his spirit that has kept him coming back time after time, even though sometimes his body says no. He is a fighter and one of the toughest players to ever hit the court- someone that players like Ferrer look up too. It is always a sad day when one of the game’s greats says goodbye but sometimes it has its advantages. For us this means that we get to hear Lley Lley in the commentary booth and see him lead and mentor the young Aussie Davis Cup team and for that the only thing we can say is….. Com’Onnnnnnnn!!!!

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The Unexpected- Surprise, Surprise

NADAL VS VERDASCO

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Something keeps happening when players (who are predicted to lose) compete against Rafa in the early stages of a Grand Slam. They become invincible. It’s as though they are struck by an out-of-this world beam which turns them unstoppable. Equipped with a new-found confidence, they hit winner after winner, and sadly for Aussie Rafa fans this meant a Round 1 defeat. Credit to Fer who played with such intensity that he hit a forehand (or is that fearhand?) on the run at full stretch at over 220km.

 

QUEEN KERBER

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She won her first Grand Slam; She overruled Serena.
Who saw that coming? Not the viewers who, as Kerber, served for the match at 5-3, anticipated Williams to take control and steal the match. She did break but then in the following game the German did the same. Williams hit long and Kerber fell straight onto her back, stunned and shaking with joy. She did it. 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. 

Auf Gehts Angie!

The not so unexpected- I believe I can fly

Then there’s Novak. Defeating Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3) to win his sixth Aus Open title. SIXTH…… 

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And everything else- Clap along if you feel that #happiness is the truth

The Rod Laver Arena 3rd Round Day session was always going bring a little bit of excitement but no one could guess just how much. So when Maria Sharapova lost a second set tie break to Lauren Davis, (which included an awesome 27 shot rally) the crowd cheered in awe. Not just the crowd within the stadium but also the crowd below it, where opponents Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov had gathered in anticipation of their match which was due to start at the conclusion on woman’s match. Federer’s reaction which was captured on the AOLIVE camera feed was priceless and showed us that. no matter how much tennis you’ve seen, you can still be blown away.

 

Another moment worth mentioning is that time Gael Monfils was out Monfils’d by countryman Stephane Robert. In what was some spectacular shot making, Robert showed Gael that he wasn’t the only one who had tricks- even prompting LaMonf to clap his hands in appreciation.

Speaking of La Monf…..

 

There were a few racquet smashes and tantrums along the way (Fabio we’re looking at you…), but overall the #HappySlam stayed #Happy. And sometimes that #happiness was infectious and it seems that the joy that Shuai Zhang felt as she defeated Simona Halep in the first round spread like wildfire with Zhang going on all the way to the quarter finals.

The crowd were (as always) on point with their outfits, their banners, their chants and their cheers. Stan Wawrinka better watch out because according to one fan he should have 911 on speed dial since he appears to be on fire!

Every year us Melbourne based #Happy Slammers, take the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and enough tennis to get us through the remaining 11 months of the year, and this year was no different. We meet some amazing new people, caught up with some amazing old friends, watched some awesome tennis, got some awesome selfies (and some not so awesome selfies…. ), enjoyed and loathed Melbourne’s weather and enjoyed the only time of the year we can tell our international followers that #SleepIsForTheWeak and too suck it up!

 

So now its all over for 2016, tell us in the comments section what were your highlights, what surprised you and what made you #Happy?

and  if your still not over it, don’t forget to check out our tips for beating that post AO hangover

Stay #Happy!

 

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