World Tennis – What can we expect from the rest of 2022?

If the Australian Open is anything to go by, then 2022 is going to be a blast for tennis fans across the globe.

Line Calls – Best Moments of the AO

There were so many fantastic performances that came out of the Australian Open over the past two weeks that it is really tough to isolate but a few exceptional ones, but here goes;

  • I have to start with Rafael Nadal. He had made quarters or finals in all previous 5 years and never clinched the second win he so desired after winning in 2009. Coming into the 2022 tournament very few would have believed that the 35-year-old Spaniard would make a final, let alone win. Fighting back from an injury, that only a month or so ago was still going to prevent him from playing this year, to winning his second Australian Open was sublime to watch. Rafa had to dig deep to win both his last two matches and the moment had almost seemed to have past him in the final set of the men’s final against Medvedev, when was ahead with two match points in hand, only to lose the game and allow Medvedev back into contention. Then came one of the most spectacular fight-backs I can remember and he blazed passed a determined Medvedev for the win. Nadal has clearly not played the last of his tennis yet and if he can hold that form will be a contender for the French and US Open.
  • Ashleigh Barty, not only made history this last weekend but has also thrown down the gauntlet in Women’s single tennis. If anyone wants to beat her this year they will have to up their game significantly. Barty lost only 30 games in total to take the single title and in a pure display of dominance was broken only three times in her seven matches. She has won Majors on grass, Sand and hard courts and at this stage looks invincible. The remaining Grand Slams in 2022 are hers for the taking if current form holds.
  • Having a world No1 excluded from a Grand Slam Tournament due to their own personal medical choices, seems like something that could only have happened in some dystopian future, but this was the fate of Novac Djokovic, who will surely be back in the thick of things with more motivation than ever and will no doubt be someone to watch in the other Grand Slams tournaments in 2022

The Tie Breakers – Best upcoming talent in 2022
Tennis seems to be thriving in Canada with two talented younger players both making their mark at the AO this year.

  • Denis Shapalov
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime

Evergreens – Stayers with Incredible comebacks

  • Danill Medvedev
  • Maddison Keys
  • Danielle Collins

Collins has laid ferocious foundations 

In the off-season, Danielle Collins was hitting with a ball machine and her boyfriend on public courts near her house in Florida.  

Happy to go about business her own way, the 28-year-old blazed into her first Grand Slam final without a permanent coach or travelling physio. 

The plan is now to bolster the travelling team for the new top-10 entrant.  

Collins, fuelled by her fierce determination, is destined for a statement season, leading the rejuvenated Americans along with AO 22 semi-finalist Madison Keys and Amanda Anisimova, who knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka. Add Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff into the mix, and 'Team USA' could be enjoying a trophy-laden campaign. 

Medvedev set for showstopping 2022 

He can be divisive, he is absorbing, and he revels in being the ultimate disruptor.

Daniil Medvedev keeps rubber-stamping his own triumphant moments into the history books with his unorthodox strokes and defiance. What a talent. 

The runner-up has had quite the rollercoaster at Melbourne Park, battling past the partisan crowd and Nick Kyrgios, saving match point against Felix Auger-Aliassime, and then proving his class to dismiss Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Despite falling in the instant classic final, the 25-year-old is in a strong position to scoop the No.1 ranking and will be oozing with confidence to tackle the rest of 2022. Can he compile a truly dominant season like his 'Big Three' rivals? 

Flying the flag  

Over the past five years, Canada's captivating duo Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov have been touted to be the 'next big things' on the men's tennis landscape. 

The likes of Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev have enjoyed more statement success, but it seems these long-standing friends have edged oh so close to a major breakthrough, to fulfil that potential. 

Auger-Aliassime, building on his US Open semifinal, marched to a two-set lead against Medvedev in the quarterfinals and chalked up match point. His loss was heartbreaking, but the Russian is proving too strong for most right now. 

Shapovalov levelled with Nadal from two sets down, but couldn't secure the decider in another titanic bout.  

Plenty of sensational tennis, plenty of promise in the months ahead abound for these two. 

Expect more green and golden feelings 

It wasn't just national icon Barty flying the flag for the home contingent.  

Kyrgios, who became embroiled in a first-class tussle with Medvedev, lifted the men's doubles title alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis. Kyrgios was revved up and motivated, Kokkinakis playing freely, finely injury-free. We'd all welcome a strong output from them in 2022. 

Alex de Minaur also earned plenty of plaudits with his best-ever Australian Open campaign. The 22-year-old started with a four-set flourish over Lorenzo Musetti, only to be denied in the fourth round by top-10 talent Jannik Sinner.