Worsley at Aussie Open 2020: Two weeks of Grand Slam mayhem

OPINION: Newshub tennis correspondent Dave Worsley looks back over two weeks of aces, double faults and missed line-calls in Mebourne.


The tournaent's total crowd of the tournament was 812,174 over the two weeks. This is the largest ever and beats last year by about 15,000.

Winning again

Novak Djokovic needed four hours, finishing at 11.45pm local time and a score of 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win his eighth Australian Open and his 17th Grand Slam title overall.

On the other hand, Dominic Thiem suffered his third Grand Slam final loss - the first in three sets, the second four sets and now five sets. He's getting closer each time.


The climate was possibly the worst for many years - smoky, cold, windy, wet, raining mud, hot, humid, windy and cold again.

Even for Melbourne, this was unusual and not always pleasant for spectators or players.


On-court interviews became too long, particularly if John McEnroe was conducting them.

You had to feel sorry for a player who had gutsed it out for 3-4 hours and then was stuck with rambling questions that went a couple of minutes more than they should have.


Kiwi Corban Crowther has potential. At 16-years-old, he won through junior qualifying, then beat an Aussie in straight sets, before losing to a more experienced opponent in the second round.

He’s a nice kid and had the support from Artem Sitak during the first round, while Mike Venus caught up with him after his match. With his age and his ability to learn, plus his array of shots, this player has real potential.

French player Harold Mayot won the boys singles, while 14-year-old Andorran 14-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva won the junior girls.


The Australian Open and all of its facilities sprawls 3km long, from the Federation Square entrance to the end of the Tennis Australia practice courts and training facilities.

Additional facilities for players and spectators are being added.


The three Kiwi doubles players didn't enjoy the greatest results, with. Marcus Daniell losing in the first round, Sitak in the second round and Venus in the third round.

Barty baby protection

Aussie world No.1 Ash Barty bought her baby niece to the media conference, after her semifinal loss. She said it was for perspective, but some thought it was to shield her from hard questions.

Ash Barty nailed her media-management strategy on more than one occasion
Ash Barty nailed her media-management strategy on more than one occasion. Photo credit: AAP


Interesting to be in the hallways underneath Rod Laver Arena to see players pass by... Novak Djokovic with a big entourage, other players no-one.

Sofia Kenin’s father, Alex, was always within reach. In fact, he didn’t let her out of his sight.

But before the men’s final, Dominic Thiem stood by himself - not a coach, parent nor supporter close by. He’d been in two Grand Slam finals before and this was his time to focus.

Top woman?

Sofia Kenin won the women’s title, but she’s not the best player at the moment. Ash Barty probably isn’t the top player either, despite her No.1 ranking.

Noami Osaka is inconsistent and Serena Williams appears to be fading, if you can figure out how to play her.

Every woman seems like a world No.5, with no-one showing the ability to dominate at the present time.

Playing media

Former players often wander through the media areas at the tournament, eating in the restaurant or writing notes. Swedish seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander is always extremely polite and just quietly goes about his business.

Boris Becker spent time in the restaurant and certainly has a presence. You always know he is in the room, while former women’s winner Justine Henin went almost unnoticed and was probably quite happy to move invisibly. She also won seven Grand Slams.


The 50th anniversary of Margaret Court winning the Australian Open was actually handled well. She was presented a replica trophy by Rod Laver, but not interviewed nor given the microphone to talk at any stage.

Rod Laver presents Margaret Court with a massive replica trophy... but no microphone
Rod Laver presents Margaret Court with a massive replica trophy... but no microphone. Photo credit: AAP

It was just better that way, considering her extreme religious views, which have caused issues among the tennis community in the past.


2005 Aussie Open winner Marat Safin, who presented the winning trophy, is still cool.


On more than one occasion, Spanish press asked Garbine Muguruza why she no longer smiled.

Garbine Muguruza had plenty NOT to smile about, after her Melbourne Park meltdown
Garbine Muguruza had plenty NOT to smile about, after her Melbourne Park meltdown. Photo credit: AAP

Acing it

Nick Kyrgios served the most aces in the tournament, with 100 in his four matches. Milos Raonic also hit 100, but in five matches.

Among the women, Muguruza hit 42 aces in seven matches, with Barty 37 in six matches.

Faulting it

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had 27 double faults in the women’s draw, while Thiem led the men with 26 - the record no-one wants.

Best reverse results

Qiang Wang from China was beaten in 44 minutes 6-1, 6-0 in the 2019 US Open by Serena Williams. Just a few months later, she defeated Serena in three sets at the Australian Open.

Now, that shows guts.


Almost any male Russian player and, of course, Benoit Paire - all unpredictable, all extremely talented and all total head cases.


The singles winners take away A$4,120,000 each, with runners-up $2,065,000. A first-round loser gets A$90,000

More cash

More than A$6 million was raised from the Australian Open towards fire relief, thanks mainly to Kyrgios kickstarting things.


Ballkids have to handle towels which players constantly use to wipe down sweat. There must be a better way.

Rafa Nadals shares more germs with another ball kid
Rafa Nadals shares more germs with another ball kid. Photo credit: AAP


Kyrgios has matured and has massive, massive support from the ordinary punter. 'Coco' Gauff is still young and has plenty of time.

Roger Federer and Serena Williams will both be 39 years old this year - that’s a stat in itself.  

Media silence

Melbourne AFL clubs do no media during the Australian Open, which helps both codes.

But the day after the tournament ends, 'footy' lets rip with vast amounts of releases and attention-grabbing promotions.

Despite the agreed truce, local newspapers still produce 2-4 pages of AFL stories during the Open.

Heavy hearts

Massive co-incidence, but still weird and heartbreaking for these young woman...

As well as dealing with the pressure of professional tennis, Jelena Ostapenko, 22, Arnya Sabalenka, 21 and Amanda Anisimova, 18, all had their father’s pass away since August and all played in the main draw of the Australian Open.

Remember, Ostapenko withdrew from the ASB Classic through 'personal reasons'.

Mo' money

The Australian Open was trying to rake in as many dollars as possible to help with expansion, new facilities and to offset any fall in its currency against the US$.

Ground passes started at A$54 up to A$74, which is getting steep. Beers are A$12.50 (Stella and Corona) and orange cordial with a slight sniff of alcohol (otherwise known as Aperol) is A$15.50.

Don’t even think about eating or taking home Country Road merchandise, you’ll go broke.

Dave Worsley is a Newshub sports reporter, covering his 22nd Australian Open