What a time to be a Tennis fan. The 2017 Australian Open draws to a close this Sunday, but it feels more like 2007 when you take a look at the finalists. We’re set for a couple of all-time classics, starting with Serena and Venus Williams going head to head in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2009.
On the men’s side of the draw Roger Federer has surged back from injury, overcoming fellow Swiss and 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka in his first tournament for 6 months. Can he win his first Grand Slam since his Wimbledon win against Murray in 2012? He faces Rafael Nadal, in a throwback to their iconic battles of the noughties.
The Throwback Open
The last time all four players contested a final at the same tournament was at Wimbledon in 2008, where Nadal triumphed over Federer in a 5-set epic, and Venus successfully defended her title against Serena in straight sets. We can only hope for the same level of play this weekend in what has been branded as the ‘Throwback Open’.
As fun as it is to watch the likes of Djokovic and Murray battle it out at the top, this is a welcome return to what many regard as the golden era of modern tennis. The top two seeds crashed out in the first week, meaning it was everything to play for in the men’s draw, but even big hitters Wawrinka and Raonic couldn’t stop 9th seed Nadal and 29th seed Federer making it to the last Sunday for their first final since 2011.
Serena Williams has proven her dominance time and time again over the last 15 years, never going more than 2 years without a Grand Slam title since 2002. Meanwhile, Venus’ journey to the final has been just as unprecedented as that of Federer and Nadal’s. Having not won a major title since 2008, Williams has been plagued with injury and illness in the later stages of her career. However, she’s only dropped one set on the way to meeting her sister in the final.
Age is but a number
Is 35 the new 25? Whatever the result, this year’s Australian Open has proven that age is just a number when it comes to the top-level. While Serena’s dominance is well-documented, the remaining three finalists’ form has fluctuated in recent years. Their ability to roll back the years this time round reflects what’s always been true in tennis: it’s never over until the last point.
If you’re looking for any excuse to get back on the court, look no further. Whether you’re at the top of your game or brushing the cobwebs from your racket, what better inspiration than a battle of the ages between 4 of the best tennis players of all time? This could be the last time you see a Williams sisters or Fedal Grand Slam final, and Australia day may have been yesterday, but it’ll be all eyes on Melbourne this weekend.
Head to our tennis page to find a tennis court near you and get back into the swing of things. And don’t worry, it’s summer at the Australian Open, but there are plenty of indoor courts to shelter from the cold in London.
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