With the Australian Open kicking off on February 8, the Grand Slam sparked many surprises including the departure of defending champion Sofia Kenin. Meanwhile, home favorite Nick Kyrgios had to show some resilience in the win over Ugo Humbert. Kyrgios also had his famous explosion on the court. The tournament also saw Serena Williams embrace her fashion sense again with a one-leg jumpsuit inspired by athletics legend Florence Griffith Joyner. Australian tennis ace Bernard Tomic also disappointed his fans with a weak loss to Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday.
Five talking points from the Australian Open on Thursday:
Serena Williams’ flashy one-legged jumpsuit – inspired by controversial track legend ‘Flo-Jo’ – stole the show in Melbourne, despite being a ‘last minute’ creation.
Williams said the vibrant outfit, a nod to the late Florence Griffith Joyner, only appeared because a previous design “wasn’t so Serena-esque.”
“So the Nike team came back and made something very similar to Serena and didn’t have time to put it on retail, so it was definitely more of a last minute outfit than usual.” , said the 39-year-old.
Griffith Joyner remains the fastest woman in history, holding the best 100m in 10.49 seconds at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – a remarkable feat that sparked much drug speculation.
“If you look closely, it’s actually breathable and perforated,” Williams added.
“So it’s really super light and so much so that I have to make sure I’m wearing underwear,” she says.
“Nude color, however.”
‘You look like an idiot’
Nick Kyrgios loves explosions on the pitch, but without a lineman this year he found a new target during his five-set thriller against Ugo Humbert on Wednesday night – the Net Cord Catcher.
The game was stopped several times, with the electronic machine used to alert the referee to a malfunction on what looked like clean aces, which were then considered let.
“It’s difficult, because with technology like that, you look like an idiot trying to oppose it,” Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios was joined on the pitch by referee Marijana Veljovic at one point as she inspected the net equipment while the Australian complained about turning the machine off.
“I was, like, there’s no way that’s correct, in my opinion. The line calling, listen, we can’t do nothing about it, because it’s for Covid reasons. is fair enough.
“She was like, I lowered the sensitivity, but she would still beep when the serves was good, like, an inch above the net. So I don’t know.”
Djoker and the joker
As world number one, Novak Djokovic gets to play with many celebrities in the sports world and beyond, but he revealed this week that NBA legend Michael Jordan and Hollywood funny man Jim Carrey were at the top of his list among the stars he had yet to meet.
“I haven’t met Michael. Obviously I’m not the only one,” Djokovic said at the Australian Open, where he is looking for a record ninth crown.
“He’s one of my childhood heroes, people I admired, probably like most people in the world. We have a lot of mutual friends. I’ve heard he loves golf. Maybe I can catch up with him on some golf courses in the future. “
He would also like to chat about the world with eccentric Carrey, star of films like “The Mask” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”.
“I would love to meet Jim Carrey,” said Djokovic, who started his life in war-torn Serbia before becoming a glamorous world inhabited by tennis’s biggest stars.
“He’s a very interesting, very interesting guy. His views of the world intrigue me a lot. I would love to chat with him about that.”
Bernard Tomic has not been loved by the Australian public in recent weeks, but he can still give as well as he receives.
The oft-controversial Australian was assaulted online when his girlfriend complained that she had to wash her hair in quarantine before the tournament.
And although he won his first Grand Slam match since Wimbledon 2018 in the first round, he drew more criticism for his sweet 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday.
Former Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald, now a TV commentator, called the performance “squeaky” and wondered if Tomic would qualify again next year.
When asked if he thought Fitzgerald’s comment was harsh, Tomic hit back, “Of course he did. But, you know, he’s probably the worst commentator I’ve ever seen in my life, too. . “
Kanepi Quarantine Fan
Many players competing at the Australian Open have expressed disdain for being forced into a mandatory 14-day quarantine, but fit Kaia Kanepi is not one of them.
The veteran Estonian sparked tournament surprise on Thursday when she knocked out defending champion Sofia Kenin in straight sets.
Kanepi, 35, finished second in the Gippsland Trophy warm-up where she beat world seventh Arnya Sabalenka and 16th Elise Mertens.
It’s a turnaround for Kanepi at Melbourne Park, with the Australian Open being his bogey Slam not having passed the third round in 11 previous attempts.
She reached the quarter-finals of each of the other Grand Slam tournaments twice.
“This year I think coming here for two weeks in quarantine and then the warm-up tournament also in Melbourne, I think that’s what helped me,” she said.
“In Melbourne, the weather changes a lot and it is more difficult to get used to the conditions.
“This year I think it helped me to have had a lot of games the week before to get used to the conditions.”
Kanepi will then face 28th seed Donna Vekic of Croatia.
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