Long wait to win at home

Australian Open – Australia is a crazy country with sports – and it’s also a successful country. He doesn’t work anymore in the home tennis tournament. No Down Under team has won the Australian Open since 1978.

Pat Cash, Pat Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Samantha Stosur, Ashley Barty: There is a long list of Australian tennis stars who have collapsed under the pressure of the domestic leagues in recent decades. The last time an Australian man (Mark Edmondson) won in Melbourne was in 1976, and the last time an Australian woman (Chris O’Neill) won was in 1978, both still in the venerable stadium park in Koyong District. Since moving to Rod Laver Arena, the record has been disastrous.

Now there is great hope that redemption is finally nearing with world number 1 ranked Barty. In eight matches (singles and doubles) this year, the 25-year-old was undefeated, winning both titles in Adelaide. With wins at the French Open, the ATP Finals (both 2019) and Wimbledon (2021), the multi-level 1.66m junior player from Queensland has shown that he can also dominate the big tournaments. But in Melbourne, the past three years have always been in the quarter-finals or semi-finals.

Wins everywhere – not just at home

Barty wouldn’t be the first to end her brilliant career without a home win. The Australians have celebrated great victories around the world since 1978, four times each at Wimbledon by Yvonne Gulagong, Cash, Hewitt and Barty, at the US Open by Rafter (2), Hewitt and Stosur and in Paris by Barty. The Australian Open in particular, where all competitors have come a long way and may not be at their best at the start of the year, will in fact be predestined for the local stars. But they fail again and again due to expectations and pressures – which increase every year due to the long waiting time.

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The French are also suffering

Australians are by no means alone in their suffering. The Britons waited 77 years for a home win before being replaced by Andy Murray in 2013. One of the reasons that traditionally dominant Grand Slam nations find it difficult to assert themselves is that tennis has become increasingly international in recent decades. Especially for the men, the victories of players who do not come from Switzerland, Spain or Serbia are becoming increasingly rare. The pressure is enormous because of the great history and the outstanding importance of the local championships.

The French suffered almost as much as the Australians. Marie Pierce triumphed at Roland Garros 2000, and in the men’s tournament it was Yannick Noah who delighted the nation’s major in 1983. However, since then, despite the abundance of talented players, no Frenchman has ever won a Grand Slam tournament – anywhere in the world. the scientist. Thanks to Serena Williams (and Sloane Stephens), American ladies in New York raised the “stars and stripes” flag. It’s been 19 years since a guy (Andy Roddick) last won at Flushing Meadows.

Barty rocky road

Now Ashley Barty must rule Melbourne. In the men’s category, Nick Kyrgios impressively defended himself against Daniil Medvedev, but was ultimately unsuccessful. With 32nd seed Alex de Minaur and qualifier Chris O’Connell, the two Australians reached the third round, but are unlikely to win the tournament.

Despite his impressive level, even Barty’s track is rocky. The draw has not been nice with the temporary professional cricketer. Already in the Round of 16, she must meet the defending champion – and if mentally advanced – the current best player, Naomi Osaka. If Barty survives this hurdle, she can only fail because of her nerves.

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