The Race to The Most Grand Slam Titles

Victory for Nadal when he won against Medvedev.

Victory for Nadal when he won against Medvedev.

Kristen Taylor, Managing Editor

Tennis is one of the most popular sports today, leaving no surprise as to why there are four massive international tennis tournaments every year, with the Australian Open being one of them, allow me to take you down under. The Australian Open is a tennis tournament held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. The tournament starts in early January and is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events held each year, foregoing the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. It highlights men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles; junior’s championships, wheelchair, and so many more events. The Australian Open history returns to 1905. It was initially known as the Australasian Championships before taking on the name as the Australian Championships for quite some time. It was not until 1969 the name was changed and would remain Australian Open. Although it is particular to Australia alone, the competition has occurred outside of the country. New Zealand has hosted two Australian Open titles. The competition was also held in other major cities in Australia for example Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Brisbane. It henceforth concluded that Melbourne would be the best fir and unparalleled host city for the competition.

Ash Barty hitting a serve to her opponent (Miami Herald)

What is the importance of the Australian Open all of a sudden? Well, as of last year, three highly-ranked men’s tennis players Novack Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, all won 20 Grand Slam titles meaning out of all the Grand Slam tournaments they have played in they won 20 of them, which is a big beal, and a true accomplishment. The race to see who would be the first to receive their 21st Grand Slam title was on. However, this year due to covid and Australian rules and regulations, All who participated in the Australian Open were required to take the vaccine. Novak Djokovic, the world number one in men’s tennis and the reigning champion of the tournament, was due to play in the Australian Open last month. Tournament organizers said Djokovic had been granted an exemption to play in the tournament, despite refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. But Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, intervened and Djokovic was refused entry at Melbourne Airport. Now some would have taken this as an opportunity to get the Covid-19 Vaccine but Djokovic refused. Neither his exact reasons for refusing to be vaccinated nor his medical history is public knowledge, but he has said in the past that he is “opposed to vaccination”. An anonymous source says “ It is his business what he chooses to do with his body but if those are the country’s rules you either have to follow them or face the consequences.”(12) Many other students felt the same way. “ He should have just gotten the vaccine” Medha(11). Many tennis fans would have liked to see Djokovic and Nadal play each other in the finals but based on the draw the players would have most likely played in the semi-finals instead of the finals and whoever won that match would have to play Daniil Medvedev in the finals. On the women’s side of the Australian Open, there were a lot of good matches Ashley Barty, an Australian native, won the Australian Open title. True tennis fans know that this win came as no surprise. “ I knew she was going to win.” Said Alex Hocutt(11)

Djokovic at the airport (

Many people around the world stayed up late or got up early to watch the match between Medvedev and Nadal. Another anonymous source said,“ I went to sleep after Medvedev won the first two sets knowing for sure he was going to win, only to wake up and see Nadal won his 21st Grand Slam title.” Djokovic not taking the vaccine caused him to miss out on this opportunity of being the first out of Nadal and Federer to be the first to receive their 21st Grand Slam title. Sometimes the choices you make have consequences. This will not be the last we hear from Djokovic we can expect to see him in the French Open as he tries to defend his title.