- Australian Open 2023 week one was full of surprises
- Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal are among those who exited the Australian Open
- Many people had high hopes for Gauff after she won the ASB Classic in Auckland
Australian Open 2023 week one was full of surprises, which is the case with every other sport.
The Melbourne tournament was one of the eagerly awaited Grand Slams of 2023 after a drama-ridden 2022 season. Novak Djokovic left Melbourne as a deported, and Ashleigh Barty took on the challenge of winning a third Grand Slam.
And out of the blues, she announced her tennis retirement after making history in Melbourne. It was such a surprise move that the tennis world did not expect.
With the 2023 event, the slams are heating up, and it is such an exciting run. Here is what happened in the last seven days.
RAFAEL NADAL IS OUT
Rafael Nadal’s exit is the biggest shocker of the Australian Open 2023, week one. His championship defence at the Australian Open ended in the second round following a hip injury.
He says that the loss left him mentally wrecked. The left hip issue that plagued the Spaniard earlier contributed to his 6-4 6-3 7-5 loss against American Mackenzie McDonald. The 36-year-old claimed that although the ailment existed before the game, the discomfort was nothing like Wednesday’s pain.
His medical team says he will be out for at least eight weeks. Nadal’s biggest fear is staying out for so long, but he doesn’t have much of a choice.
COCO GAUFF IS OUTCoco Gauff’s loss to Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round was an emotional exit that coloured the Australian Open 2023 week one. She hopes fellow American Jessica Pegula will walk all the way to the finals.
Many people had high hopes for Gauff after she won the ASB Classic in Auckland at the beginning of the year. They believed that Melbourne Park would be the venue where she would finally end her Grand Slam drought.
Though the Latvian played parts of the tennis that helped her win the 2017 French Open, she was defeated on Sunday by the outstanding Ostapenko. Gauff said that she put in a lot of work, hoping to make history in Melbourne, but it didn’t work out as she hoped. Gladly though, she is happy that she improved a lot.
CAMERON NORRIE EXITS
Cameron Norrie, the British No.1 players is out of the Australian Open after a thrashing by Jiri Lehecka. Norrie, seeded 11th, had been aiming to knock off another notable career milestone by reaching the last 16 at Melbourne Park for the first time.
He led by two sets to one before Czech Lehecka fought back to win 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the third round. The 27-year-old left-hander was far from his best and needed treatment on his left knee early in the decider. By making it to the final 16 at Melbourne Park for the first time, Norrie seeded 11th and hoped to achieve another significant career milestone.
Before Czech Lehecka rallied to defeat him in the third round, he had two sets to one advantage. Early in the decider, the 27-year-old left-hander required care for his left knee because he wasn’t feeling well.
EMMA RADUCANU’S RUN ENDS
British No.1 player Emma Raducanu made headlines in Australian Open week one after her elimination by Coco Gauff. It was a thrilling second-round encounter. The world No. 77th-ranked Raducanu performed admirably against the seventh-seeded American, but her lack of tennis wit cost her the match, 6-3 7-6 (7-4).
Before the Melbourne major, the 20-year-old had been battling an ankle issue besides troubling blisters, which marred her in the 2022 season. The mixed fortunes for the Brit are a hard nut for her to crack after attracting so much focus ahead of the game.
Sadly, Gauff suffered the same fate as the tournament’s first week ended.
IGA SWIATEK LOSES
Besides Nadal was the biggest shocker exit of Australian Open week one, but Iga Swiatek is perhaps the biggest newsmaker of all. Elena Rybakina sent her home in the fourth round.
Rybakina, the Wimbledon winner, ended Swiatek’s run for her first slam in 2023. The Kazakh put on a brave show at Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-4, 6-4. She battled back from a 3-0 deficit against a dejected Swiatek, dropping only six points on her first serve the entire game.