TENNIS - Novak Djokovic has become the first player in the Open era to win the Australian Open in three successive years. The last player to achieve that feat before the Open era started (1968) was Roy Emerson who won five in a row from 1963 to 1967. Jack Crawford (1931-1933) is the only other player to win this tournament at least three years in a row.
TENNIS - China’s Li Na will take on top seed Victoria Azarenka in the final of the 2013 Australian Open women’s singles final, coming fresh off a victory over second seed Maria Sharapova and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals. On only three previous occasions, a player managed to eliminate three of the top four seeds in the same Grand Slam championship (women’s singles).
TENNIS - Maria Sharapova will play against Li Na in the semifinal of the 2013 Australian Open on Thursday. Sharapova has lost nine games in the first five matches of this tournament. This equals the second fewest number of games lost in a Grand Slam tournament for players reaching the final four (only players with five completed matches taken into account).
TENNIS - When looking at percentage of games (the ones that make up sets, which make up tennis matches) won at Grand Slams in Open era, the men’s singles Top 11 all-time contains the ‘Big 4’ of modern day tennis. Björn Borg and Rafael Nadal are the only two players that have won at least 60% of all their games, the equivalent of winning each Grand Slam match by 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
TENNIS - Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm has reached the third round at the Australian Open, making the 42-year-old the second oldest player to survive two rounds of women’s singles at a Grand Slam tournament, behind Renée Richards, who was 45 when negotiating the first two rounds at the 1979 US Open. Date is now faced with another daunting task, attempting to become the first player in almost 20 years to beat an opponent less than half her age. Martina Navratilova last performed that feat at the 1993 US Open.
TENNIS - Maria Sharapova became the third woman in Open era history to register back-to-back ‘double bagels’ (6-0, 6-0 triumphs) in the same Grand Slam tournament, joining Margaret Court, who performed the feat in the second and third rounds of the 1973 Australian Open and Wendy Turnbull who did the same in Rounds 1 and 2 of the 1985 Australian Open.
TENNIS - Kimiko Date-Krumm has become the oldest player to win a women’s singles match at the Australian Open. The 42-year-old from Japan improves the record set by Virginia Wade in 1985 at age 40. Martina Navratilova is the oldest player to win a women’s singles match at any Grand Slam. She was 47 when she won a match at Wimbledon in 2004.
TENNIS - Novak Djokovic, the winner of the last two men’s singles championship at the Australian Open, can become the first person in the Open era (1968-present) to win three in a row. The last player to complete the threepeat was Roy Emerson, five consecutive from 1963 to 1967 (prior to the Open era). In the Open era, 10 players managed back-to-back titles, but no one has registered the threepeat.
TENNIS - Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the Australian Open has caused concern among his fans. They can rest assured as long as the Spanish star returns by springtime. The autumn and winter combined have only resulted in one-eighth of his 50 career tournament victories, two-thirds of which are being won in the spring.