Hey everyone! It’s Nikolai here, your fellow tennis fanatic, diving into the start of the 2024 season, the Brisbane International 2024. What do you guys think about the games so far? Personally, I think it’s been an absolute rollercoaster of epic tennis moments. And we haven’t even gotten to the Australian Open. Mind-blowing! Let’s chat about what went down and why this season is already shaping up to be legendary.
So the first few days of the year brought us a mix of emotions. Let’s recap what we saw in the first few days of Australia’s tennis scene.
Nadal’s Return to Tennis
I think this has been the highlight of the week for tennis fans around the globe. Rafael Nadal has made a comeback to tennis after a long year battling an injury. This injury has not allowed him to compete in the 2023 season. This resulted in him losing A LOT of ATP points. in fact, at the time of writing, he is the number 98th in the rankings.
After losing his doubles match, Nadal made an impressive comeback in the singles, with a convincing win over US Open Champion, Dominic Thiem in the Brisbane International 2024 round of 16. Nadal won the match in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1.
Nadal only made six unforced errors and lost just three points on his first serve during the first set. He secured the two-set victory in just 89 minutes.
Of course, marking his comeback from what has been described as the toughest 12 months of his professional career with such a performance brings joy to many of his fans, including myself!
This is what Rafael Nadal said in his post match interview:
“Today is honestly an emotional and important day for me after probably one of the toughest years of my tennis career without a doubt.”
“To have the chance to come back after a year and play in front of an amazing crowd and play at a very positive level is something that probably makes us feel proud – myself, all the team, family that have been there every single day during the last year.”
“I missed being healthy, I missed feeling myself competitive and playing in front of full crowds like this.”
“Things went well and I’m excited to be back again.”
Do you think Nadal can join the top 10 again later on this year? We just have to wait and see.
Plíšková ends Osaka’s Run in Disappointment
The Brisbane International 2024 also marked the return of new mother, Naomi Osaka. The 26-year-old and 4 time Grand Slam winner has marked her comeback to tennis with a win in the Round of 64 against Tamara Korpatsch. However, Osaka’s comeback was described as super nervous by some.
In fact, much to her disappointment, Naomi Osaka fell short against the big serving Karolína Plíšková. Former WTA number 1 lost against Plíšková in three sets. Osaka took the first set 6-3 but was then beaten in the second set with a SUPER close tiebreak (4-7). Despite dropping the second set, Osaka kept on fighting but Plíšková seemed to kept up her momentum, securing the victory in Pat Rafter Arena.
“Sssssss” Said the Snake
Mention ‘Australia’ and many immediately think of its reputation for deadly wildlife. This notion was unexpectedly brought to life during a qualifying match at the Brisbane International 2024. The game, featuring former US Open champion Dominic Thiem, was anything but ordinary when a highly venomous snake made an appearance.
The alarming discovery occurred right at the close of the first set. The snake, located alarmingly close to the ball kids, prompted a quick response. Tournament officials had to call upon a professional snake handler to ensure the safe removal of the creature from the court.
Thiem, known for his admiration of exotic animals, commented on the incident. “I have a deep appreciation for animals, particularly the exotic variety,” he said. “However, this was a dangerous situation. The snake was not only highly poisonous but also too close for comfort to the ball kids.”
As confirmed by the ATP website, the intruder was an eastern brown snake. Its presence on the court necessitated immediate intervention by a qualified snake catcher.
The eastern brown snake, as detailed by the Australian Museum, is notorious in Australia. It is responsible for more fatalities due to snake bites than any other snake species in the country. Common throughout eastern Australia, this species is often found in areas close to large towns and cities, particularly on their outskirts. The appearance of such a snake during the Brisbane International 2024 International serves as a vivid reminder of Australia’s diverse and sometimes dangerous wildlife.
In Other News, Injury Scare for Novak Djokovic
In what has been described as a shocking tennis match, Alex de Minaur ended Novak Djokovic’s 43-match winning run in Australia. This defeat came after Djokovic hampered wrist problems during his match in the United Cup.
De Minaur won this match 6-4, 6-4 and is being described as his biggest win of his career. After all, it’s not an everyday activity to beat the ATP world number 1 and 24-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic.
This year is already off to a crazy start. What do you think of the first few days? I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in the build up to the Australian Open, the first major event of the tennis season.