2020 Australian Open Upcoming Finals

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2020 Australian Open Upcoming Finals

By Lauren Reiser, Junior Editor

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The first of the four Grand Slams of the 2020 tennis season is coming to a close in Melbourne, Australia.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic defeated the No. 4 seed Roger Federer  in the semi-finals 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the finals that will take place on Sunday Eastern Time. Despite his strong start in the match, Federer struggled to play his best as he battled against some muscle issues in his groin and leg. Before the semi-final match on Thursday, Federer played two nail-biting five-set matches against Australian John Millman and American Tennys Sandgren.

He said he wasn’t in pain before the match, but that changed during the 2nd and 3rd sets. Despite these setbacks, Federer finished the match and has still never retired during a match in his career.

“At the end of the day, I guess I’m very happy. I’ve gotta be happy with what I achieved,” the tennis champion said. “I think it was the maximum to go to get to this tournament, especially after the Millman and the Sandgren match. Today was horrible to go through what I did. Nice entrance, nice sendoff, and in between, it’s one to forget just because you know you have a three percent chance to win.

While Federer holds the record for most Grand Slams won in men’s singles with 20,  Nadal (19) and Djokovic (16 going into the finals) are right behind him. Fedrerer’s most recent Grand Slam title was the 2018 Australian Open and he feels that he could definitely win one or two more.

Djokovic will be facing Dominic Thiem in his 8th Australian Open final.

No. 5 seed Thiem played an intense four-set match in the semi-finals, defeating No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal to secure his place in the finals. Thiem has never won a title at any of the four Grand Slams, but he has reached three finals so far in his career.

“I think all the match was on a very good level, I think we were both on great form. We already had this epic match in New York two years ago,” said Thiem after defeating Nadal.

“Today I was really feeling I was lucky in the right situations. The net cord was really on my side. He’s one of the biggest legends this sport’s ever had so you need some luck to beat him. I’m full of adrenaline, full of happy moments.”

For women’s singles, there was an unexpected winner this year. No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin defeated Garbiñe Muguruza for her first major title. In the semi-finals on Wednesday, Kenin defeated No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty in a very close match

“I believed I could win even though I had two set points down in the first and second,” Kenin said in her post-match press conference. “I could literally feel, I was telling myself, I believe in myself. If I lose the set, I’m still going to come out and believe. Yeah, I really did a great job with it. I didn’t give up.

“I knew it was a tough match. Of course, some things didn’t go my way with the challenges and some great shots she came up with. But I didn’t let that stop me.

In the finals match against Muguruza, Kenin had an amazing sequence midway through the final set, five points that included what Kenin named the “five best shots of my life.”

“After that, I was on fire,” Kenin said. “I was ready to take the beautiful trophy.”

Muguruza, a previous champion at the French Open Wimbledon, said that if Kenin “keeps playing like this,” she continue to win more Grand Slam titles. “She proved to us that she can play very well,” Muguruza said. “And play very well in the important moments, which is a different story. I think it’s even more special.”

Wayne Hills Junior Gabrielle Goldman felt that “it was nice to see Kenin win her first title. It is always cool and exciting to see someone win their first major tournament.”

“I am definitely rooting for Thiem” says Sophomore Juliana Lee. ” Djokovic is a fan favorite and he’s a player to be reckoned with. But I’ve been watching Thiem play this open and you can really see how much he wants it. I’m hoping he can pull through even against one of the greatest players of all time.”