Jan 21, 2020

Australian Open 2020: Serena Williams one win shy of tying Margaret Court's record

Serena Williams. Photo: Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Serena Williams remains one win shy of equaling Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major singles titles.

The backdrop: Williams, 38, has been within one match of tying Court's record four times, but lost in the finals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open each of the last two years.

Women to watch: Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion, is Australia's best chance for a homegrown singles winner since Chris O'Neil claimed the 1978 women's title.

  • Young Americans: 15-year-old Coco Gauff is back and better than ever, and 18-year-old Amanda Anisimova has found solace on the court since her father's sudden death last summer.

Men: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were the three best players on the ATP Tour in the early 2010s. A decade later, they're still on top — but the next generation is closing in.

By the numbers: "The Big Three" have won 55 of the past 66 Grand Slams, but youngsters like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev represent the best bets to break their iron grip on the sport.

  • What they're saying: "They're coming closer and closer, it's obvious," Djokovic told reporters in Melbourne. "I think they are definitely hungry. They're challenging. They're knocking on the door."

Go deeper: 15-year-old Coco Gauff becomes youngest tennis titlist in over a decade

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Australian Open highlights the parity divide between men and women's tennis

Data: ATP Tour; Table: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Novak Djokovic came back from two sets to one down for the first time in a major final to beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and earn his eighth Australian Open crown.

Why it matters: The win allows Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal and tighten the gap with Nadal and Roger Federer in the race to see who will finish with the most Grand Slam singles titles.

Go deeperArrowFeb 3, 2020 - Sports

Exclusive poll: Women lock in on 2020

Democratic women are gearing up to become even more engaged around the 2020 election than they've been in recent years, according to a new survey by American University's Women & Politics Institute and the Barbara Lee Family Foundation provided exclusively to Axios.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020

Universal Tennis Handicap could revolutionize the sport

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) is a rating system that could revolutionize the sport at every level — from country club play, to college recruiting, to the very top of the professional tours.

How it works: The current ATP (men) and WTA (women) rankings are based on point accumulation, which benefits pros who get easier draws or play more matches and junior players whose parents have enough money to travel to tournaments.

Go deeperArrowFeb 19, 2020 - Sports