SETTING THE SCENE: The key stats from the first Grand Slam of 2022
After plenty of uncertainty in the lead up this year’s Australian Open, it now looks as though world number one and record nine-time winner, Novak Djokovic, will have a shot at winning the event for a 10th time.
Were he to do so, Djokovic would surpass rivals Rodger Federer and Rafa Nadal and hold the outright record for most men’s Grand Slams singles titles won.
Last year in Melbourne, the Serbian defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in a comfortable straight sets victory, and in doing so equalled his own record for most consecutive Australia Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era, with three. He first set the record with wins in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
It’s a record he shares with several of the great female players of the Open Era, including Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Martina Hingis.
Hingis won the first of her three Australian Open titles in 1997, a remarkable feat for a player that was only 16-years-old. In doing so she became the youngest winner of the Australian Open and she still remains the youngest ever Grand Slam winner.
The oldest Australian Open winner is Ken Rosewall, who won eight Grand Slams between 1953 and 1974, with the 1973 title in Melbourne being his seventh, aged 37.
Rosewall is undoubtably one of the greatest Australian tennis player of all-time, but few players come close to matching the 24 Grand Slam singles titles won by Margaret Court in a career that spanned the Pre-Open and Open Eras.
Court still holds the record for number of Grand Slam singles titles won, which includes a remarkable 11 victories in her home event, with Serena Williams the only current player in close proximity, on 23 Grand Slams.
Williams does hold the record for most Australian Open wins in the Open Era with seven, the last coming in 2017. However, she won’t have a chance of adding to that tally in Melbourne this year.
This year’s tournament, which runs from 17th – 30th January, looks sure to provide may top class moments and a repeat of last year’s final might be a far closer run thing this time around, with Medvedev having beaten Djokovic in the final of last year’s US Open.
Any final would be hard pressed to match the 2012 classic between Djokovic and Nadal though, still the longest match ever at an Australian Open, which lasted an epic 5 hours and 53 minutes.
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