What We Learned: 2019 Australian Open
What We Learned: 2019 Australian Open

This article is part of our What We Learned series.

The first major of the 2019 season concluded Sunday with Novak Djokovic winning his 15th career major on the men's side, and Naomi Osaka winning her second career major on the women's side. There was plenty to dissect over the two-week tournament, as we dive into some of the key takeaways from the season's first Grand Slam, and what it means for the 2019 season.

The next generation is here

Stefanos Tsitsipas: The 2018 Next Gen winner had an outstanding tournament Down Under, living up to the hype he's been rightfully given. He had his big moment in the fourth round, where he defeated No. 3 Roger Federer 6-7 (11), 7-6 (7), 7-5, 7-6 (7). Tsitsipas was able to build off the success and advance to the semifinals, the best finish that he's had in a Grand Slam to date. The aggressive 20-year-old served up 94 aces over six matches in the tournament and broke his opponents 15 times. Sitting at No. 12 in the world rankings, the sky is the limit this season and beyond for the youngster from Greece.

Naomi Osaka: After winning this past weekend, the 21-year-old has now won the past two Grand Slams, winning the 2018 US Open to conclude last season. The Japanese-born Osaka led the Australian Open in aces and break points won to take home her second Grand Slam. Osaka is an aggressive player and possess one of the fastest serves on tour. The 21-year-old now sits at No. 1 in the world rankings and it could be Osaka's tour to dominate, if it isn't already.

Amanda Anisimova: Anisimova was able to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open, dispatching No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka. Even though she lost to eventual runner-up Petra Kvitova in straight sets, it was quite an accomplishment for a player that wasn't even born until this millennium. The 17-year-old looked quite impressive and didn't shy away even though she was an underdog in most matches Down Under. The American could be just scratching the surface of her potential and will definitely be a player to watch this season and for years to come.

Some veterans aren't going anywhere

Novak Djokovic: What's left to say about the world No. 1 following his 15th career Grand Slam on Sunday? The Serbian dispatched No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal in straight sets with relative ease. Though Djokovic was 18th in the field in aces, he was able to break his opponents 42 times, a tournament-high mark. The 31-year-old will hope to keep dominating into the summer, but with smaller tournaments on the upcoming schedule, Djokovic could give himself a much-deserved rest.

Petra Kvitova: Although the Australian Open is the major that has been the most volatile in her career, the 28-year-old reached the final where she was defeated by the aforementioned Osaka in a thriller. The two-time major champion didn't drop a set until the final and has an 11-2 record to start the 2019 season. Ranked No. 2 in the world, Kvitova looks to be a strong candidate to finish with a top-5 ranking before the season's end.

Slow starts to 2019 campaign

Alexander Zverev: The No. 3-ranked German didn't have the tournament he'd hoped for, losing to Milos Raonic in straight sets in the fourth round. The 21-year-old was visibly frustrated in the match, as he destroyed his racket between games in the second set. Zverev even led the tournament in double faults, which led to his ultimate demise. Even though he's ranked top-3 on tour and still 21-years-old, the German's actions and performance from Melbourne don't exactly instill confidence that he'll find his top form in 2019 as he continues to under perform in Grand Slams.

Caroline Wozniacki: The defending Australian Open champion didn't have the title defense she'd hoped for, losing to No. 30-ranked Maria Sharapova in the third round. Against Sharapova, Wozniacki was dominated in stretches and had a tough time matching the power game of the Russian. It's been an extremely slow start for the No. 10-ranked Wozniacki, who has just a 3-2 record to start the new season. The 28-year-old will have to turn around her average play quickly, or it could be a long 2019.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Labosky
A former D1 hockey player for the University of Wisconsin, Dan started writing for RotoWire in 2018, covering the NFL, NCAA Football, NHL, and Tennis. He is also the host of Beyond the Badgers on WSUM 91.7 FM.
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