Worsley at the Aussie Open: The highs and lows

OPINION: That's a wrap. The Australian Open 2019 is complete, and as per usual it was another wild ride.

The tournament had more than 780,000 spectators go through the gates during the two weeks of the event.

It was hot, but for only a couple of days. Melbourne had a few of its traditional chilly nights too. Otherwise, it was pleasant weather for most of the event

Winners of the men's and women's singles titles took away AU$4.1m (NZ$4.3m) each, the runners-up half of that total. First round losers finished with AU$75,000 (NZ$78,000). It's nice money if you can get it, but getting to that stage is beyond just a dream for all but a few.

Many players might not be keen on umpires, but none of them tried to execute one. The Spidercam came close. The 'slightly' malfunctioning camera on wires giving great views of Rod Laver Arena knocked the roof off the umpires' stand, with chair umpire Alison Hughes almost losing her head.

Novak Djokovic now has seven Australia Open singles titles after his 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory. That puts him at the top of the list of winners, ahead of Aussie Roy Emerson and Swiss master Roger Federer, both on six. Rafael Nadal had no answer to the Serbian's tremendous and almost flawless play in the final, which went to a new level.

It means Djokovic has 15 Grand Slam titles and has won the last three in a row, and could see Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam titles challenged sooner rather than later. An amazing record, considering last year was a struggle with injuries in the early stages.

Nadal was a man who always tries his best, but this time his best wasn't enough, and he had the courage to admit the better man beat him on the night.

Naomi Osaka.
Japanese star Naomi Osaka. Photo credit: AAP

Naomi Osaka won her second Grand Slam title and forgot to smile. Even the notes prepared for her by her team reminded her that if she won, she had to smile. She forgot to remember the notes.

Petra Kvitova was a graceful finalist. Her comeback from having her left hand and hitting hand badly sliced by an intruder a couple of years ago is amazing, to say the least - especially considering she was told by surgeons she wouldn't play again. Do not look up the picture of her hand if you get queasy easily. Well done to both women, who put on a top display in a final which ebbed and swayed.

Andy Murray.
Scotland's Andy Murray. Photo credit: AAP

There were plenty of tears from players such as Kvitova, Andy Murray and others for plenty of different reasons. A few racquet smashes, bag throws and downright grumpiness was littered throughout the masses of matches and Tennis Australia and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided not to release the fines list to the media like they are required to do.

The changing of the guard in men's tennis didn't eventuate. To be a real changer, a younger player has to make the final at least, and even in the men's semi-finals the pretenders were just that. But wow did Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe and to a lesser extent Lucas Pouille, provide plenty of entertainment and flair and possibly titles for the future.

There was a women's match which didn't start until 12:30am (local time) and finished after 3am which is pretty dumb, no matter what organisers say.

There were honours for ex-players and something which all sport needs to do, use the ex-greats to present trophies. It was fun to see Li Na, Ivan Lendl and others on court and legends Rod Laver and Roy Emerson congratulating the French doubles pair of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre- Hugues Herbert.

Watching wheelchair player Dylan Alcott on court winning the title and being used as a commentator and in promotional material for the whole tournament is fantastic and something special. It proves the sport is moving forward and is inclusive. When it comes to inclusive, let's leave the Margaret Court Arena alone. She was arguably the best female player ever and let's recognise her ability in tennis rather than her religious beliefs, and let's be stronger for it.

Cheers Aussie Open and here's to attending more in the future, but can you change the beer? Coopers as the only brand is foul.

Dave Worsley is a Newshub sports reporter, covering his 21st Australian Open. 

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