Both Leylah Fernandez and Shelby Rogers needed to play qualifiers in order to make it to the main draw and today Rogers was the one that proved better than her opponent 6-4 5-7 6-1.
The match was a very interesting one as Fernandez demonstrated her typical up-and-down tennis with Rogers being the more stable player. It was rather predictable in the way it went as Rogers was able to win the first set 6-4 after Fernandez missed a huge chance to go up a break. She was up 40-15 on the serve of Rogers but she failed to get it done and then got broken in the next game.
The second set was one where both players played really well as neither player was able to get a breakthrough. We eventually ended up in a tiebreak with Fernandez jumping out to an early 6-2 lead. Rogers crawled back to make it 6-4 but Fernandez converted it with sa service winner. Many expected her to show up and dominate in the final set but that didn’t happen.
She produced a really disjointed effort losing her service early and after that, she fell apart. It’s nothing unusual for Fernandez as it’s been happening for a while now. Rogers moves on after a gifted third set 6-1.
Australian Open 2023: Leylah Fernandez credits father for giving her mental toughness
Leylah Fernandez said her early tennis education under her father Jorge had focused heavily on the mental aspects of the game, something she was thankful for on Tuesday after the Canadian won her first match at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old, who was runner-up to Emma Raducanu at the 2021 U.S. Open, beat tricky Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-5 6-2 in searing conditions at Melbourne Park and faces fourth seed Caroline Garcia next.
Fernandez said her Ecuadorian father – a semi-professional footballer who took to coaching tennis despite not playing the sport himself – had imparted important values for success in the sport.
“For me, the mental to the physical is three to one. Mental is extremely important,” Fernandez told reporters. “I’m very grateful my parents, especially my dad, has reinforced that.
“He hasn’t really taught me about tennis or technique but more of the mental side of the sport. Because it’s hard. You’re all alone out there on the court. Most of the time you don’t have a coach with you, or the coach can’t talk to you during points.
“You have to figure some things out, you have to be your own cheerleader, own biggest critic, own biggest supporter. I’m just happy he taught me those values from a young age and that I was able to kind of implement that now.”
Fernandez, who has won two WTA titles – both at Monterrey in the last two years – but has largely struggled to match her form from Flushing Meadows, said notching a first victory at the Australian Open was a welcome boost.
“Before the match (against Cornet) and during the match, I wasn’t thinking about that, but after when I did hear it was my first win at the Australian Open, it did feel like it’s a good step in the right direction,” Fernandez said.
“I’ve been playing this tournament for a couple of years, and always fell short of a first-round win. It wasn’t easy to accept, but I was just happy that I was able to get through it and to get another chance to play here.”
From winning streaks to perfect finals records to the biggest jump to No. 1 ever, Nole just keeps piling on the numbers.
Novak Djokovic made another flawless start to a season in Australia this year, not just winning the lead-up event in Adelaide, but going on to win his 10th Australian Open title—and 22nd Grand Slam title—with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Here are 22 things Djokovic achieved Down Under this year:
He tied the all-time men’s record for most Grand Slam titles. Rafael Nadal also has 22.
He extended his all-time men’s record for most Australian Open titles. Roy Emerson and Roger Federer are tied for the next-most with six each.
He’s now one of only three players in tennis history to have won a single Grand Slam event 10 times or more. Margaret Court won 11 Australian Opens and Nadal has 14 French Opens.
He’s now 10-0 in his career in Australian Open finals. He’s actually 10-0 in his career in Australian Open semifinals, too—so he’s a terrifying 20-0 at the event once he gets past the quarterfinals.
He’s one of only two players in tennis history with a 10-0 record or better in finals at a specific major. Nadal is 14-0 in French Open finals. Court lost her eighth Australian Open final (she finished 11-1).
He broke the record for longest men’s winning streak at the Australian Open in the Open Era. He’s now won 28 matches in a row at the event, surpassing Andre Agassi’s 26 in a row from 2000 to 2004.
He’s won 10 of his last 12 Grand Slam finals, and 14 of his last 17. Midway through the 2015 season, he was 8-8 in his career in Grand Slam finals—since then he’s a scary 14-3.
He passed Nadal for fourth-most tour-level titles for a man in the Open Era. The top five is now Jimmy Connors (109), Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (94), Djokovic (93) and Nadal (92).
He’s now won 47 of his last 50 tour-level matches. In a stretch that began with his run to the title in Rome last May, his only three losses have come to Nadal (quarterfinals of Roland Garros), Felix Auger-Aliassime (Laver Cup, which is officially counted as tour-level) and Holger Rune (final of Paris).
He’s now won six of the last seven tournaments he’s played. Starting with his run to the title at Wimbledon, the only tournament he’s played but hasn’t won was the Masters 1000 event in Paris, where he fell to Rune in the final, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5—and he was up 3-1 in the third set of that one.
He’s not only won his last 17 matches in a row, but the only three sets he’s lost in that run have been close tie-breaks. They came in his 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) win over Medvedev in the round robin of the ATP Finals, his 6-7 (8), 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Korda in the Adelaide final and his 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0 win over Enzo Couacaud in the second round of the Australian Open.
He’s now won at least two tour-level titles every year since 2006. That’s 18 years in a row now.
He tied Serena Williams’ all-time men’s and women’s record for most career Grand Slam titles on hard courts. They both have 13—Serena won seven Australian Opens and six US Opens, while Djokovic has won 10 Australian Opens and three US Opens.
And finally, he also tied Serena’s Open Era record for most Grand Slam titles won after turning 30. He already had the men’s record with nine, but with his 10th now, he ties the men’s and women’s Open Era record.
MELBOURNE: Victoria Azarenka said it took her 10 years to get over being accused of cheating when she last won the Australian Open, and defended Novak Djokovic who has been accused of dramatising his injury during this year’s tournament.
The 33-year-old two-time champion rolled back the years at Melbourne Park on Tuesday night, dismissing Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.
During her run to the second of her back-to-back Australian titles that year, Azarenka took a nine-minute medical timeout in the semi-final against Sloane Stephens after failing to convert five match points.
Azarenka went on to turn the match around and eventually lift the trophy, but she had to defend herself from accusations of gamesmanship and cheating.
The Belarusian revealed later she had suffered a panic attack on court and couldn’t breathe, which caused the long delay.
Azarenka said Tuesday she had only just learned how to cope with self-doubts and anxiety during matches, which can be overwhelming, and only recently got over that “worst” moment of her career.
“It was one of the worst things I have ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment, the way I had to explain myself until 10.30pm at night because people didn’t want to believe me,” she told reporters.
“I actually can resonate what Novak said the other day,” she added, referring to Djokovic hitting back about comments on his hamstring injury.
The 35-year-old Serb looked hampered and in pain in his early matches, with a heavily bandaged leg.
But the nine-time champion seemed unhindered as he raced past Australia’s Alex De Minaur and into the quarter-finals on Monday for the loss of just five games.
Djokovic told Serbian media he was fed up with suggestions that he might have faked the injury — and that such slurs only motivated him more.
Djokovic, who plays Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev in the men’s singles quarter-finals on Wednesday, said this week he was an “easy target to be the villain”.
“There is sometimes, like, I don’t know, incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written,” said Azarenka.
“But we’re not villains, we’re not heroes, we are regular human beings that go through so many, many things,” added the 24th seed after reaching her first semi-final at the Australian Open since 2013, where she will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
She said the “assumptions and judgements” meant nothing “because nobody’s there to see the full story”.
“It didn’t matter how many times I said my story, it did not cut through,” Azarenka said.
“Actually it’s funny that you’re saying that because I was thinking about it. It took me 10 years to get over it. I finally am over that.”
Srdjan Djokovic, the father of Novak Djokovic, has been pictured posing for photos with Vladimir Putin supporters at the Australian Open on Wednesday night.
Four men had been evicted from Melbourne Park by Victoria police on Wednesday night after chanting pro-Russian and pro-Vladimir Putin slogans on the steps of Rod Laver Arena while brandishing numerous Russian flags, including one with the face of Putin on it.
Before the eviction of the four pro-Kremlin supporters, Srdjan Djokovic met fans outside Rod Laver Arena and took photos with a spectator wearing a “Z” symbol shirt while brandishing a Russian flag with a large picture of Putin’s face.
In the video, posted by Aussie Cossack on to YouTube, Srdjan Djokovic appears to say “zivjeli Russiyani” or “long live Russian citizens” before he leaves. “Zivjeli” means “cheers” in Serbian and Croatian, used during a toast, and Russiyani means citizens of Russia.
Before the match, Simeon Boikov, who runs the Aussie Cossack YouTube channel, called on other pro-Putin supporters to attend the event in order to “strike back” at Tennis Australia.
It came after TA banned Russian flags at the Australian Open after an incident during the first-round match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russian Kamilla Rakhimova, when spectators showed up with Russian flags.
Boikov has been accused of assaulting a 76-year-old man at a Sydney rally in support of Ukraine, and this week an arrest warrant was issued against him. He is currently seeking refuge in the Russian consulate.
“Today Djokovic plays Andrey Rublev. I hereby appeal or instruct everyone to get down there. I can confirm that we’ve got some surprises,” Boikov said.
“Tennis Australia, brace yourselves … for fans, for people who love tennis, if you know what I mean. I’ve got to word it that way or they’ll get me for incitement. We’ve got a lot of serious fans in Melbourne heading down.
“This is about honour and dignity now. This is an attack on honour and dignity. This has got nothing to do with the war. This is an attack on freedom in Australia. This is discrimination. This is racism. It’s illegal to ban people’s flags.
“The Russian empire has had its flag banned. Well, guess what, Tennis Australia? Good luck when the empire strikes back.”
On Thursday, Victoria police confirmed that four men had been evicted from Melbourne Park.
“Police spoke to four men after a Russian flag was produced on the steps at the tennis about 10.20pm on Wednesday 25 January. All four men were evicted,” said Victoria police in a statement.
Following the release of the Djokovic photos, Tennis Australia warned players and their teams against interacting with prohibited flags.
“A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards following a match on Wednesday night and were evicted. One patron is now assisting police with unrelated matters,” said Tennis Australia in a statement.
“Players and their teams have been briefed and reminded of the event policy regarding flags and symbols and to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt. We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies.”
Roger Federer is living his best life at Paris Fashion Week and a detail in his one wife’s outfits has sent tennis fans into meltdown.
Goat, but make it fashion.
That must have been the brief for Roger Federer’s wife Mirka after she sent the internet into meltdown with an outfit that can only be described as iconic.
While the eyes of the tennis world are on the Australian Open, Federer is enjoying the retired life, making an appearance on the other side of the world at Paris Fashion Week.
Stepping out in Paris, the Swiss maestro looked sharp as usual in a navy turtleneck and two-piece suit combination.
But it was his wife who Mirka stole the show, wearing a sweater vest with an unmistakeable blue goat emblazoned on the front, worn over the top of a patterned dress.
Sure enough, tennis fans immediately lost their collective minds at what many suspected was a deliberate choice by Mirka to acknowledge to her husband as the GOAT — the greatest tennis player of all time.
Others have pointed out the vest may have simply been a nod to Mirka’s star sign Aries’ animal, which is a ram.
The Federers were also spotted rubbing shoulders with longtime Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour and Australian film director Baz Luhrmann.
Federer retired from professional tennis last year after a glittering career that saw him with 20 grand slam titles.
Rafael Nadal leads all comers with 22 grand slams and he could well be equalled by Novak Djokovic if the Serbian wins his 10th Australian Open crown this weekend.
But despite being third on the leaderboard, Federer is still viewed by many as the greatest tennis player to every play the game.
The nine-time Australian open winner extended his unbeaten streak Down Under to 26 games, moving clear of Andre Agassi’s all-time record.
His dominating win puts the remainder of the draw on notice as he moves into his 44th career Grand Slam semi-final, just behind Federer’s record of 46 semi-finals.
Djokovic reflected on the first time he faced Federer in a grand slam semi-final.
“I think it was the US Open back in 2007,” he recalled.
“It seems quite a long time ago. But yeah. I was fortunate to win that semi-finals. You know, in the finals, I lost to Roger.”
The Rod Laver Arena crowd cheered at the mention of Federer’s name, and Djokovic urged them on.
“Lets give a big round of applause to Roger guys, let’s go.
“He deserves it. I had some great battles with Roger over the years that’s for sure.
“Tennis misses him for sure. I’ve seen him dressing up very sharply for fashion week, I saw him the other day (on social media).”
Jim Courier asked Djokovic if he’d seen a video of Federer skiing with his family.
“I’ve seen him skiing. I want to challenge him for a little skiing race in few years time,” he said.
“He is enjoying life for sure. It’s nice to see that. Obviously, for tennis, he has been one of the most important players ever to play the game. So, you know, big regards to him and his family.”
“Good afternoon. I have carried out medical tests after the defeat yesterday,” Nadal revealed after his Australian open exit. “The MRI shows a grade 2 lesion in the iliopsoas of my left leg. Now it’s sports rest and anti-inflammatory physiotherapy. Normal recovery time six to eight weeks.”
The good news is that should everything go to plan, Nadal should be back in good time for the clay season. It is his strongest part of the year by far and he missed much of it last year due to a broken rib he suffered at Indian Wells.
“He will be resting the next days once back in Spain and will start with anti-inflammatory physiotherapy,” a spokesman for the Nadal camp explained. “The normal time estimated for a complete recuperation is between six and eight weeks.” When will Rafa Nadal be back from injury?
Nadal suffered the injury on 18 January, so let’s look at what possible impact it will all have on his scheduling.
Six weeks from the injury would be March 1, so it’s possible that he could return for Indian Wells. That gets underway on March 8, so seven weeks on from his injury.
Nadal also has a lot of points to defend there after reaching the final last year. However, it’s probably highly unlikely he will make it to Tennis Paradise.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner has always been incredibly cautious with his recovery from injury, and it’s hard to envisage that changing for the last couple of years of his career. After all, do any of the rest of us find we get faster at recovering the older we get?!
So, we can probably safely rule out Indian Wells for Rafa this year. The second part of the Sunshine Double, the Miami Open, follows directly on from Indian Wells on March 22. That would be nine weeks after his injury, so it would certainly appear within his reach.
However, it’s the last event on hardcourt before clay season starts, so is Nadal likely to travel to the US to play one tournament before switching surfaces? It feels very unlikely.
If Nadal’s previous scheduling is anything to go by, we won’t see him until the clay season, which would make the Monte-Carlo Masters on April 9 his likeliest comeback date.
That would be 11 weeks after sustaining his Australian Open injury, but he will be seeing it as a great opportunity to fully prepare for the clay season.
With Nadal being the creature of habit we all know him to be, we can probably be relatively certain of his upcoming schedule.
Projected Rafael Nadal schedule
April 9: Monte-Carlo Masters (ATP 1000)
April 17: Barcelona (ATP 500)
April 26: Madrid Open (ATP 1000)
May 10: Rome Masters (ATP 1000)
May 28: Roland Garros (Grand Slam)
July 3: Wimbledon (Grand Slam)
Serena’s GOAT necklace is encrusted with 115 diamonds – and can be yours for $199
If you’re looking for Valentine’s Day jewelry, Serena Williams just gave us the ultimate inspiration! The tennis icon showed off her new diamond necklace on Instagram – and we love the meaningful message.
With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s day coming up, we’re either looking for the perfect gift for someone special (even if it’s ourselves!) or dropping major hints on what’s on our own February 14 wish list.
And when it comes to sending the empowering message that you, your BFF or better half is the G.O.A.T. – the greatest of all time, that is – we can’t think of a better gift than Serena’s necklace.
The limited edition necklace, which is from her Serena Williams Jewelry collection, features a sterling silver ID pendant encrusted with 115 ethically-sourced diamonds, spelling out ‘G.O.A.T’.
‘QUEEN’ diamond necklace, $199, Serena Williams Jewelry
And if being the GOAT isn’t your style, the same style is also available with a ‘QUEEN pendant, too.
LOVED gold and diamond necklace, $499, Serena Williams Jewelry
Serena shared a few snaps of herself rocking the sparkling jewelry on her Instagram, and her followers immediately reacted.
“I want,” said one commenter, following it up with a series of heart emojis. “Omg, I need!” raved another follower.
‘Unstoppable’ silver toggle necklace with diamond, $99, Serena Williams Jewelry
Serena’s jewelry line features some truly fabulous (and equally uplifting) necklaces that send a message, from the QUEEN Id necklace to a gold and diamond necklace that reads ‘Loved’ and the best-selling ‘Unstoppable’ toggle necklace ($99) in sterling silver.
Andy Murray has been reunited with his family after his physically draining Australian Open campaign, but it seems not everyone was delighted to see him back home
One of Andy Murray’s young children has given him a “tough” reality check following the Scot’s incredible efforts at the Australian Open.
The three-time Grand Slam champion exited in the third round at Melbourne, but that stat doesn’t even begin to tell the story of his marathon showings Down Under. In his first round match, Murray rolled back the years by going for more than five hours to beat 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in five sets.
But that was nothing compared to his second round win, which signified the longest match of the 35-year-old’s distinguished career. Trailing by two sets to home favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis, Murray launched an amazing comeback, with the clock running past 4am before he eventually prevailed in five hours 45 minutes.
His resistance was finally ended by Roberto Bautista Agut, but a proud Murray was able to jokingly mock the doctor who wrote off his career amid his career saving hip surgery in 2019. However, although mum Judy was out to support him in Australia, being reunited with the rest of his family after returning to the UK hasn’t proved quite so joyous.
On Wednesday, he tweeted: “School drop off this morning. My 6 year old ‘daddy don’t give me a kiss and a cuddle anymore when you drop me…just stay in the car’. (crying emoji) Tough game. Back to reality!”
School drop off this morning. My 6 year old “daddy don’t give me a kiss and a cuddle anymore when you drop me…just stay in the car.” 😢 tough game. Back to reality!
High-profile father figures appeared to associate with Murray’s plight, with Piers Morgan tweeting three laughing emojis with the caption: “Firm handshake time.” Snooker world champion Neil Robertson replied: “The worst part is when they just call you DAD.”
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand also responded with three laughing emojis summing up exactly what he thought.
Murray shares three daughters and a son with wife Kim. The couple welcomed Sophia in 2016, Edie in 2018, their son Teddy in 2019, and another girl in June 2022 whose name has not been revealed.
At what point the school run becomes a daily chore for Murray is not yet clear, with his latest renaissance seemingly delaying any prospect of an immediate retirement. His efforts down under have propelled him up to No 62 in the world, still some way off where he needs to be in order to be seeded in Slams.
And after his tournament exit, he outlined the need to maintain his current levels throughout 2023 : “Obviously in the last few years some of the draws at the Slams have been very tricky,” he said.
“I was quite clear that it was something I wanted to do last year to try and get into the seeded spots. It didn’t quite happen. If I was playing at this level last year, I probably wouldn’t be ranked fifty or sixty in the world.”
Andy Murray is confident that he can do even better than his performance at the Australian Open, following his best performance in Melbourne since 2017.
Murray beat No.14 Matteo Berrettini and Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis, both in five sets, with the latter his longest ever match totalling five hours and 45 minutes.
The three-time Grand Slam champion fell up short in the third round against Roberto Bautista-Agut, in a competitive four set contest. Coincidentally it was the Spaniard that Murray lost to, at the Australian Open, four years prior when it seemed that he was nearing the end of his career.
For the British No,4 that seems further away than ever now, after a positive week down under.
“I felt good about the way that I was playing,” said Murray. “It’s more enjoyable for me when I’m playing like that, when I’m coming into a major event and really believing that I can do some damage. But I can have a deeper run than the third round of a slam, there’s no question about that. Obviously draws can open up for you. I need to also help myself with that.”
The former No.1 continued, “I would like to go out playing tennis like this, where I’m competing with the best players in the world in the biggest events and doing myself justice.”
It is not just Murray backing himself for bigger things in 2023, with 23-time Grand Slam doubles champion Bob Bryan also tipping the Brit for more success this season.
Bryan had the same hip operation as Murray in 2018, and was actually the person to convince him to undergo the career-saving operation.
“Four or five years ago, like he wrote on his Instagram, he was told he would never play pro tennis again,” Bryan said, “Now he’s playing the most physical matches of the week and backing it up with incredible recovery.”
“He works hard and he does the research and no-one’s smarter than him. I think you’re going to see some good years out of him coming up.”
The doubles expert was particularly confident about Murray’s chances at one Grand Slam in particular, where he has lifted the title twice before.
“I think he’s going to have a great Wimbledon. He knows how to play on grass and I think that’s the place where he really wants to do some damage.”
However, Murray has admitted if he is to have these deeper runs at majors he does need to do himself some favours by not bumping into seeded players so early and boosting his own ranking. He will look to do that in February when he plays in two ATP 500 tournaments, Rotterdam and Dubai.