Feb 3, 2020 - Sports

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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
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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.

  • Federer (38 years old): 20 titles
  • Nadal (33 years old): 19 titles
  • Djokovic (32 years old): 17 titles

Wild stat: Djokovic (5), Nadal (5) and Federer (3) have won the last 13 men's Grand Slam singles titles dating back to 2017. Their dominance defies all logic. There are no words.

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Data: Women's Tennis Association; Table: Danielle Alberti/Axios

On the women's side, 21-year-old Sofia Kenin took the title, becoming the youngest American woman to win a major title since 20-year-old Serena Williams won the 2002 U.S. Open.

Details: Kenin is the daughter of Russian immigrants and grew up in southern Florida, where her prodigious talent and fiery drive attracted the attention of famed coach Rick Macci.

What they're saying: "Her timing of the ball is better than anybody I ever taught ... and she can take the ball right off the bounce like a wizard. ... She has a drop shot from another planet. She's the closest thing I think this sport has seen to Martina Hingis," said Macci, per the New York Times.

Wild stat: While the "Big Three" have won the last 13 men's Grand Slam titles, the much more unpredictable women's game has now seen 11 different winners over the same span.

Go deeper: Lesser-seen part of the tennis world lacks the glamour of the court

Go deeper

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