MELBOURNE, January 31, 2016
Of course, the second week of the Australian Open was all about the champions down under. Whereas in the men’s draw the world number one started his “2016 Golden Slam campaign” successfully, one woman caused the tournament’s biggest upset.
Angelique Kerber and the German “Fräuleinwunder”
Fräulein is the old-fashioned German word for “Miss” but it was used for a new generation of women’s tennis players in the European country with more than 80 million inhabitants and the largest National Tennis Federation in the world, which has been waiting for a major title for a very long time. On Saturday it was the special day when Angelique Kerber lifted the trophy as the new Australian Open champion. It might has been the biggest tennis sensation with a German player involved since Boris Becker won his first Wimbledon title in 1985, as the 28-year-old stunned world number one Serena Williams with an extraordinary performance in Melbourne. Williams’s play was patchy, her serve was off and her tactic to come to the net didn’t work, but Kerber took full advantage and remained consistent throughout the encounter, showing tremendous defence and pulling off some stunning passing shots. It has been the first Grand Slam title for a German player since Steffi Graf triumphed at Roland Garros in 1999.
Reasons enough to jump into the Yarra River in Melbourne on Sunday morning following a bet with Eurosport commentator Matthias Stach, who was joined by Kerber’s coach Torben Beltz and physio Simon Iden.
“This was worthwile,” Kerber told after her jump into the river, located close to the Rod Laver Arena. The new world number two still couldn’t believe what had happened in the final. “This is history. It’s a dream come true. I just went out on court to win. The time has come to clinch a big title,” she stated.
After all meetings with the media representatives as well as the doping control, Kerber and her team returned to the hotel at 3 am in the morning. Then they went to the “Club 161” in order to celebrated the victory. “There was Techno and House music and I was dancing a lot,” told Beltz, who also has to risk a sky dive, following another bet.
Kerber took the flight via Bangkok and Frankfurt to Poznan on Sunday afternoon. From there they go by car to Puszczykowo, where the 28-year-old lives close to her grandparents. “We will have a glass of sparkling wine. I am looking forward to be back home. My family has always supported me and gave strength, even in the moments when I didn’t believe in myself.” On Tuesday evening, Kerber will join the other team members for the Fed Cup tie against Switzerland in Leipzig.
Djokovic destroys Federer in semis and continues his run in the final
Roger Federer only gained two games in the first 50 minutes during his match with Novak Djokovic in the round of the last four. The last time Federer was crushed in this way at a major was during the final of the French Open 2008, when he lost to Rafael Nadal 1-6, 3-6, 0-6. This time, however, the Swiss fought back in the fourth set but eventually lost the encounter in four sets 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 after 139 minutes.
“You had the impression Djokovic was seeing the tennis ball like it was the size of a soccer ball,” said Severin Luthi, Federer’s coach. “He could hit them with all his force and not miss.”
Djokovic was understandably more than happy with his performance: “Well, I’ve had matches where I played similar tennis,” the world number one said. “But against Roger, these first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall, I think, throughout my career.”
Another brilliant performance followed in the final when the Djoker toppled Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 to clinch his sixth Australian Open crown on Sunday.
Local Winner at Junior’s Competition
Wildcard Oliver Anderson becomes the fifth Australian to win theAustralian Open boy’s singles title in the past decade with a courageous 6-2 1-6 6-1 victory over Jurabeck Karimov. Belarusian Vera Lapko has etched her name on to the girls’ singles trophy after an inspiring 6-3, 6-4 victory over defending champion Teresa Mihalikova.
Further read: First week of the Australian Open 2016