Australia is one of the 4 countries which hold the Grand Slam annually. However it has been a long time since any local Australian player won the Australian Open. In fact the country which used to be a tennis superpower around a few decades back has had a drought of singles Grand Slam winners from last many years, with exception to Ash Bartey triumphing in the 2019 French Open.
The last Australian male tennis player to win the home slam was Mark Edmondson who did so way back in 1976. In the female section Chris O’Neil won the Australian Open in 1978. We look back at the 4 players who could end Australia’s wait for a local champion for the home slam.
The 30 year old from Brisbane has been one of the best male players for Australia in last 10 years. Millman though a very talented player at times tends to be somewhat inconsistent and this has stopped his progress to high rankings. The Brisbane resident has had a career high rank of 33 but is yet to win an ATP title.
Millman’s best show at Grand Slam level has been in the US Open 2018 when he reached the quarter finals and also caused a major upset by defeating Roger Federer . He however had issues with form in 2019 thereby losing his ranking outside the top 50. In 2020, Millman who looks back in form would be hoping for career resurgence and there would be no better place to do it than at his home slam of the Australian Open.
At 20 years of age and already broken in the top 20 of the ATP singles ranking Alex de Minaur is regarded as one of the future superstars of Men’s tennis. His talent as well as temperament is widely appreciated even by players like Rafael Nadal. The year 2019 turned out to be great for Alex’ career as he won three 250 series events, reached the final at Basel and also had his best Grand Slam showing at US Open 2019, where he reached the 4th round. Minaur has also achieved his career high ranking of World Number 18.
The 20 year old has all the talent to lift a Grand Slam trophy and he would be eager to end Australia’s wait for a local champion. With his fitness and form going well Alex can hope to make a significant impact in the 2020 Australian Open.
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The 24 year old from Canberra is famous for not only his outstanding talent but also equally volatile temperament. Many tennis experts refer to Kyrgios as the most talented player among the new generation but his attitude is lamented. Nick has been to a highest career ranking of World Number 13 and is currently ranked as 30th best singles player of the world.
Kyrgios has already defeated every member of the big 3. He also had good success in 2019 winning 2 ATP 500 tournaments in Acapulco and Washington. Kyrgios raised many hopes when he reached the Australian Open 2015 quarter final. In 2020 he would be hoping to fill more hopes by going all the way. The Canberra resident surely has all the talent but needs a combination of self control and luck by his side.
The current WTA World Number 1 ended Australia’s 8 year wait for a singles Grand Slam champion in 2019 when she won the French Open. She is now the favorite to be the 1st Australian in more than 40 years to win the home slam. Ash Barty was truly the female player of 2019 where she ascended to World Number 1 and won WTA premier title at Miami, the season end finale as well as the singles Grand Slam at Roland Garros.
In Melbourne Barty is among the top favorites to win the title. She has shown great hard court form in late 2019 and already having been a doubles finalist at the Australian Open in 2013, she would now be motivated to come out as singles winner in the season 2020’s first Grand Slam.