My favourite Grand Slam

"You know, in some ways, this one is my favourite Grand Slam", I found myself sharing with my mum this morning, as I caught a few minutes of a First Round match over breakfast this morning. The Australian Open tournament is the first of four Grand Slam events of the year and started overnight. A few of moments that immediately come to mind from years past... A young Novak Djokovic established himself in this tournament, too, lifting the trophy a record nine times. Andy Murray has reached the Melbourne on five separate occasions, being unfortunate to come up against record-breaker Novak Djokovic in four of those, and Federer on the fifth occasion. Roger Federer, considered by some as the greatest to ever play the sport, has also enjoyed plenty of success at this tournament, winning it six times himself, but he’s had a dash of heartbreak too… One of those was when he came up short to Nadal, and breaking down in tears in the on-court interview afterward (I believe this was shortly after the Spaniard had won in an epic match under the floodlights at Wimbledon, one that has gone down as one of the greatest matches of all time). Rafa's reaction and words to his compatriot in his winners’ speech were heart-warming. I also recall an epic five-set slugfest between Nadal and Djokovic which, if I'm remembering correctly, Novak came out on top on. Having been slugging it out on court for more than five-and-a-half-hours, both players were cramping up as they stood for the trophy ceremony speeches, and eventually needed to be offered chairs. This tournament holds a lot of memories for me. Whatever stories unfold over the next couple of weeks remains to be seen. I think that's a big reason why I enjoy tennis, and other sports. For the individual journeys that unfold, and the stories that are told along the way. // 16th January, 2023