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AO Download: Your rapid recap of AO 2024

  • Dan Imhoff

A new men’s champion was crowned and an incumbent women’s titleholder reigned again, bringing a record-breaking Australian Open 2024 to a close.

More than one million people filed through the gates during the main draw – the highest attendance yet – as Jannik Sinner and Aryna Sabalenka stood and delivered.

Fourth seed Sinner became the first man since Gaston Gaudio at Roland Garros 2004 to rebound from two sets down in their maiden Slam final to emerge triumphant on Sunday night.

Sinner handed third seed Daniil Medvedev his third Australian Open final defeat 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 to become the second Italian man in the Open era to capture a major trophy.

“I just tried to stay as long in the court as possible, knowing that he has spent so many hours on the court,” Sinner said of Medvedev, who faded as the match progressed. “The more the match goes on, maybe physically I'm a little bit better today, because he played so many hours. I think that today that was the key.”

On Saturday night, second seed Sabalenka became the first woman since Victoria Azarenka 11 years ago to defend an Australian Open following a 6-3 6-2 triumph over Zheng Qinwen at Rod Laver Arena.

The 25-year-old’s sternest test came against Coco Gauff in the semifinals before she went on to become only the fifth woman since 2000 to claim the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy without losing a set, following Ash Barty in 2022, Serena Williams in 2017, Maria Sharapova in 2008 and Lindsay Davenport in 2000.

“Now having two Grand Slam titles, it's definitely given me more confidence and belief in myself,” Sabalenka said. “I just have this knowing that all my life it wasn't, like, wasting of time and I was doing the right thing. I'm where I'm meant to be, so that's really important.”

The 21-year-old Zheng made the most of a top-half draw opening following Czech Linda Noskova’s third-round upset of top seed Iga Swiatek and Anna Blinkova’s remarkable 38-point tiebreak to bundle out third seed Elena Rybakina in the third round.

Indefatigable Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei continued the form of her life, scooping the women’s doubles trophy with new world No.1 Elise Mertens over first-time finalists Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok.

It was 38-year-old Hsieh’s eighth major doubles trophy and capped a dream two weeks after she picked up her first mixed doubles crown over Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk – from championship point down no less – alongside Poland’s Jan Zielinksi.

India’s Rohan Bopanna became the oldest man in the Open era to claim a major title when he and Australian Matt Ebden prevailed in the men’s doubles final over Italians Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori.

Ebden’s victory marked the 13th straight Australian Open with at least one home-grown champion.

An early frontrunner for match of the tournament held up as arguably the most-discussed showdown of the fortnight when world No.57 Blinkova conjured a nailbiting boilover against last year’s finalist Rybakina.

Blinkova fended off six match points in the longest match tiebreak in major history and finally converted on her 10th match point 6-4 4-6 7-6[20].

One of the most inspiring stories of the women’s draw came when a trio of Ukrainians – former world No.3 Elina Svitolina, Marta Kostyuk and qualifier Dayana Yastremska – reached the fourth round.

Yastremska became only the second qualifier after Christine Dorey at AO 1978 to advance to the last four at Melbourne Park, while Kostyuk made her first major quarterfinal.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev prevented the top-four men’s seeds from reaching the semifinals for the first time since AO 2013 when he stunned world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals, while Andrey Rublev’s defeat to Sinner made him the first man to fall in their first 10 major last-eight appearances after he was unable to back up his five-set thriller over Australia’s Alex de Minaur.

Unheralded 21-year-old Frenchman Arthur Cazaux was arguably the biggest surprise packet of the men’s draw after the world No.122 became the first wild card since Lleyton Hewitt to reach the fourth round on a run that included a defeat of eighth seed Holger Rune.

Japan had two 17-year-old champions to celebrate from AO 2024. Tokito Oda collected his third major from the past four against world No.1 Alfie Hewett in the men’s wheelchair singles final, while Rei Sakamoto became the first boys’ champion from his nation.

Slovakian 16-year-old Renata Jamrichova denied Emerson Jones from becoming the first Australian girls’ singles champion since 1995.

Dutchwoman Diede de Groot prevented a third Japanese winner when she held off Yui Kamiji in the women’s wheelchair singles final for her 21st major, tying compatriot Esther Vergeer’s record.

De Groot’s countryman Sam Schroder landed his third straight quad wheelchair singles title.