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The world’s first grand slam was off to a fabulous start. A look at some exciting moments from the recently concluded Australian Open. Australian Open (AO), the first grand slam of the year, was held between January 18 and 31 at Melbourne. The prestigious event witnessed wonderful matches between top players competing from across the world.

Novak Djokovic
The current world no.1 and tournament favourite lived up to people’s expectations by winning the Men’s Singles for the sixth time. He also equalled former Australian champion, Roy Emerson, by winning the AO six times. The Serb looked in great form right through the tournament and beat legendary Roger Federer in the semi-finals. In the finals, Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 in three straight sets. Novak summed up the tournament saying, “I feel special playing Australian Open every year, since this was the first grand slam title I won back in 2008.”

As a result of this victory, Djokovic now holds 11 grand slam titles and equalled Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg’s tally. If one such Sports Quiz were to be held today around the tennis theme, no person would need to read up so much. They just need to remember three names – Federer, Nadal and Djokovic!

World no. 7, Angelique Kerber, won the Women’s Singles title, upsetting current World No. 1 Serena Williams in a dramatic final match. The 28 year-old left-hander from Germany won the match in three tough sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. This is the first grand slam title for Kerber, who was euphoric after the maiden victory. She said, “When I was a kid I was always dreaming about this, to win one day a grand slam and it came true now.” With this victory, Kerber moves up in the rankings on WTA tour to No.2. As for Serena, she was hoping to equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 grand slams but she now has to wait until French Open for that bid.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis
The reigning world No.1 Indo-Swiss pair of Sania and Martina continue their non-stop victory lap of the past 12 months of the WTA tour. They won the Australian Open Women’s Doubles title defeating Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic 7-6, 6-3 in the finals. This is the third consecutive grand slam for the golden pair “SanTina” after having won Wimbledon and US Open last year. Sania said, “It’s an unreal feeling. We haven’t lost a match in a long time but also to win three grand slams in a row…it’s what really dreams are made of and I am really excited.”

This post was originally published in The Hindu Young World