This year’s Australian Open has served up some excellent tennis and we are at the last stretch as the finals have all been decided. Ashleigh Barty is on the cusp of making history and so too is Rafael Nadal who could snatch the Grand Slam titles record for himself. Here is all you need to know ahead of finals weekend.
The men’s final is set up to be an incredible contest with world number five Nadal just one match away from becoming the record holder for most Grand Slams with 21. He booked his place in the final after defeating Italian rising star Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and on Friday his opponent was confirmed.
The Spaniard will square-up against Daniil Medvedev who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. The Russian will be gunning for his second Grand Slam title, having won his maiden championship at the US Open last September. This is also Medvedev’s second consecutive final in Melbourne, having lost to Novak Djokovic in 2021. He played well to defeat his Greek opponent but his victory was tainted by his rants aimed toward Tsitsipas. The Russian accused Tsitsipas of breaking the rules by receiving coaching from his father, Apostolos, late in the second set.
Aussie and world number one Ash Barty will have the chance to do what hasn’t been done in Melbourne for 44 years, which is produce a female native champion. The 25-year-old has had a meteoric rise in the sport in recent years and has now well-established herself as the best in the world and she has the chance to become the first female hero Down Under since Christine O’Neill in 1978. This is Barty’s first final in her home Grand Slam and with her exquisite displays on the hard court this month, it feels as though the stage is set for her to write her name in Australian legend. She will do battle with American Danielle Collins on Saturday.
It has been quite the tournament for the host nation as the men’s doubles final is an all-Aussie affair. Outspoken star Nick Kyrgios and partner Thanasi Kokkinakis will take on Matthee Ebden and Max Purcell which is sure to be a gripping match.
Kyrgios was labelled as an “absolute kn*b'' by an opponent and described as having the maturity of a 10-year-old. But the Aussie star will not care as he is on the cusp of becoming a homeland hero in the doubles and it could be the cherry on top of an excellent weekend for Australia in tennis. The home crowd will be thrilled to know that they are guaranteed home champions in the doubles and they will have everything crossed for Barty to win the women’s singles title too.
There is sure to be some excellent tennis on display this weekend, and most certainly there will be some brilliant stories that come when the victors emerge to culminate an excellent tournament.
*18+ | BeGambleAware