Unreal scenario at the Australian Open! Only 3 times in history has this happened at a Grand Slam

Unreal scenario at the Australian Open! Only 3 times in history has this happened at a Grand Slam
Unreal scenario at the Australian Open! Only 3 times in history has this happened at a Grand Slam

Australian Open 2023 was a competition with many surprises. Numerous favorites were eliminated along the way, so the upper stages ended up with athletes who were not necessarily rated with great chances. In the chapter on surprises, we could also mention the origin of the remaining players in the fight for the trophy. In the women’s contest there is a special phenomenon, as the quarter-final draw was dominated by players from Central and Eastern Europe.

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Of the 8 originally left in the race, only Jessica Pegula was an “intruder”. The American was defeated by Azarenka, so it is clear that the trophy will be awarded by a tennis player from this part of the world. In the first semifinal Azarenka (Belarus) and Rybakina (Khazakhstan) will meet, and in the second the winners of the duels Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) – Magda Linette (Poland), respectively Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) – Donna Vekic (Croatia).

Only once in history has it happened that all 4 semi-finalists at the Australian Open came from countries in the center or east of the “Old Continent”. It is the edition from 2008, won by Maria Sharapova (Russia) in front of Ana Ivanovic (Serbia). Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) and Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) made it to the semi-finals.

As for all the Grand Slam tournaments, this phenomenon is happening for the 4th time, as it was repeated twice at Roland Garros: 2008 – Ana Ivanovic (Serbia), Dinara Safina (Russia), Jelena Jankovic (Serbia ) and Svetlana Kusnetsova (Russia); 2021 – Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia), Maria Sakkari (Greece) and Tamara Zidansek (Slovenia). At Wimbledon and the US Open, such a thing has never happened in history.

The Australian Open could have both champions from Eastern Europe, for the 4th time in history

The men’s table of this edition of the Australian Open is not far from this coincidence either. The only non-European players to reach the quarters were Americans Korda, Shelton and Paul. The first advanced in the duel with Khachanov, and the last two will meet in the quarters. Tsitsipas is already in the semi-finals, after a clear victory with Lehecka, and Djokovic – Rublev is the last quarter of the boys, so 3 of the players who will reach the ace box will be Eastern Europeans.

As it is hard to believe that any of the Americans will be able to win the trophy, it is almost certain that we will have winners from this part of the world in both men’s and women’s. At the Australian Open there was this scenario only 3 times in history: 2008 (Djokovic / Sharapova), 2012 and 2013 (Djokovic / Azarenka).

This happened most often at Wimbledon, 4 times: 2011 and 2014 (Djokovic / Kvitova), 2019 (Djokovic / Halep) and 2022 (Djokovic / Rybakina). At Roland Garros it happened only once, in 2021 (Djokovic / Krejcikova), as well as at the US Open, in 1985 (Ivan Lendl – Hana Manclikova). In New York, it was also the only incident of this kind that was not related to Novak Djokovic.

So the pole of power in tennis is shifted, at least for the time being, to central and especially eastern Europe, a sign that schools in this part of the world are producing players of great value on the conveyor belt. Obviously, this scenario will not be repeated too often at the next major tournaments, but it cannot be attributed to chance either.

The Australian Open can be seen from 16 to 29 January 2023 live on Eurosport channels, but also on the Eurosport app (Android and iOS). In addition, in the Eurosport app you have access to the latest articles, news and analysis of the most important events.

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The article is in Romanian

Tags: Unreal scenario Australian Open times history happened Grand Slam

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