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Australian Open 2024 Awards

  • Vivienne Christie & Matt Trollope

In the latest edition of our AO Awards, we recall some of the most memorable moments from Australian Open 2024 and tip our hat to the players who helped create an unforgettable tournament to open the new Grand Slam season.

Match of the tournament

Second round: Anna Blinkova d Elena Rybakina

Dominant Brisbane champion Elena Rybakina was not expected to be truly tested when she lined up against world No.57 Anna Blinkova in the second round. But against an inspired opponent, she was forced to recover from 4-2 down in the third. The subsequent match tiebreak was the most compelling theatre imaginable under lights at Rod Laver Arena, spanning half-an-hour and 42 points. “It was incredible,” Novak Djokovic later said. “One of the most exciting super tiebreaks ever that we have seen.” Blinkova missed a total of 10 match points, and erased six – including a stunning match point save down 17-18 during which Rybakina played the perfect point, yet lost it anyway. Blinkova eventually emerged triumphant 6-4 4-6 7-6[22-20], telling the crowd: “It’s the best day of my life so far."

Best performance

Dominant defending champions: Aryna Sabalenka & Novak Djokovic

Aryna Sabalenka strode out for her title defence on the first Sunday night and immediately made her intentions clear, storming to a 6-0 6-1 win in just 53 minutes against German qualifier Ella Seidel. Incredibly, she was more dominant two matches later, dismissing Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-0 in 52 minutes. “Last year Iga (Swiatek) won so many sets 6-0, and this is one of the goals, like, try to get closer to her,” Sabalenka said. Two days later, Novak Djokovic threatened to record the first triple bagel – a 6-0 6-0 6-0 scoreline – in almost 31 years in a Grand Slam main-draw match when he led Adrian Mannarino 6-0 6-0 1-0. “Very clean overall performance,” said Djokovic, who ultimately won 6-0 6-0 6-3. “I prepared myself very well and executed perfectly.”

Most impressive new talent

Mirra Andreeva

Teenage phenom Mirra Andreeva’s gifts were obvious in a breakout 2023 season, but she took it to a whole new level at AO 2024. A Brisbane quarterfinal run vaulted her inside the top 50 and she continued that momentum in Melbourne, mesmerising the crowd while completely outplaying world No.6 Ons Jabeur in round two. At just 16 years and 263 days old, she became the youngest player in the Open era to bagel a top-10 seed in an opening set at a Slam, completing a 6-0 6-2 win in 54 minutes. Andreeva’s subsequent comeback from 5-1 down in the third set to defeat Diane Parry sent her into the AO 2024 last 16, matching her Wimbledon result six months earlier. She joined Martina Hingis, Coco Gauff and Tatiana Golovin as the only players to achieve this feat in the past 30 years.

Best comeback

Daniil Medvedev (Honourable mention: Iga Swiatek)

Men’s finalist Medvedev made a habit of rebounding from two-sets-to-love down at AO 2024. His second-round escape against Emil Ruusuvuori was followed by a semifinal thriller against Alexander Zverev, where just two points from defeat in the fourth set, his jaunty drop-shot return winner changed the course of the match. His 5-7 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 triumph made him the first player to recover from two-set-to-love down in an AO semifinal since Marcos Baghdatis 18 years earlier. His hours on court caught up with him in the final where, somewhat ironically, he lost from two-sets-to-love up. Iga Swaitek, meanwhile, trailed 2-4, 0-40 against a surging Danielle Collins – who also beat her in the AO 2022 semifinals – before she wrested control of their second-round match, completing her comeback with a backhand winner. “Honestly, I was in the airport already,” Swiatek admitted afterward.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rohan Bopanna

It took 61 Grand Slam appearances, and two Grand Slam finals, before Rohan Bopanna at last celebrated a major title. In securing the Australian Open men’s championship with Australia’s Matt Ebden, the 43-year-old from India also became the oldest man of the Open era to claim a major crown. "Without a doubt the best moment in my career," beamed Bopanna, who was twice a runner-up at the US Open (in 2010 and 2023). Adding to his career-best performance, the Indian also became the oldest player to rank world No.1.



Most heartwarming celebration

Aryna Sabalenka

A fierce warrior on court while one of the game’s most charming champions off it, we love the many faces of Aryna Sabalenka – and especially love how she's celebrated her biggest career titles at Melbourne Park. “I think it's all about having fun and enjoy the process. We always doing a lot of crazy stuff with the team,” beamed the 25-year-old after her second Australian Open triumph. “It's help me to stay focused on court. You know, because it's enough pressure on the court, and off the court we're just trying to keep it simple, keep it fun, and make sure that all of us enjoy the process.”

Aryna Sabalenka enjoys her post-match celebrations with her team at Rod Laver Arena after winning her second straight AO title.
Top photograph

Novak Djokovic (Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

An iconic move from one of the Australian Open’s most iconic competitors. At age 36, and in his 19th campaign in Melbourne, Novak Djokovic showcased his enduring athleticism in his quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz. “If there is any tournament where I'm going to dig deep, it's the Grand Slam, right?” said Djokovic, on building a 33-match winning streak at his most successful tournament. “Particularly here where, you know, I'm aware of the streak that I'm on and the amount of matches that I have won in my career on the Rod Laver Arena.”

Novak Djokovic showcases his incredible court coverage and flexibility during his AO 2024 quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz. [Getty Images/Julian Finney]
Best outfit

The Carota Boys

With all the colour, style and creativity that existed among the world’s top players, we can’t narrow our best-dressed award to one. So instead, we’re going with a group of superfans. Or rather, a bunch of them. Specifically, the six carrots who travelled all the way from Italy to support Jannik Sinner in his breakthrough Australian Open title. Sounds crazy but you can’t deny the boost – nutritional or otherwise – that the ‘Carota boys’ brought to both their favourite player, and the Australian Open overall. 

The Carota Boys attended Australian Open 2024 to support eventual champion Jannik Sinner.
Funniest interview

Daniil Medvedev and Jim Courier

You never quite know what you’re going to get in a post-match interview with Daniil Medvedev. After his fourth-round win over Nuno Borges, it was a masterclass. Jim Courier had quizzed the world No.3 on his return-of-serve position, then took it to a new level by requesting a demonstration on the court. An affable Medvedev obliged, to the delight of fans both in the stadium and around the world. “I love his questions. They're always different,” said the 27-year-old. “I wonder if he prepares them like the night before or just before. It's always fun talking to him … I told him I hope that he likes interviewing me as much as I like being interviewed by him. It's a mutual connection.”



Best duet

Zheng Qinwen and Li Na

Ten years since Li Na became one of the Australian Open’s most popular champions, there was a similarly heartwarming run for one of the many players she’d inspired. Zheng Qinwen cherished a surprise meeting with Li ahead of her progress to a first Grand Slam final in Melbourne. “She means a lot I think for all the Chinese kid in the same age like me. Because I think she's the first one who won the Slams. I mean, that's unbelievable for Asian woman in that moment,” said the 21-year-old Zheng of Li’s AO 2014 victory. “Then she gives a lot of hope, like, in that moment, like, young kids of me. Yes, I think she means a lot for everyone.”

AO 2024 finalist Zheng Qinwen (L) met Li Na at Melbourne Park, 10 years on from Li's triumph at the same tournament.
Most astonishing number


Among all the astonishing numbers amassed during AO 2024, there was one that truly stood out: the 2195 days since Novak Djokovic had tasted defeat at the Australian Open when he fell to Jannik Sinner. Ending a streak of 33 match wins in Melbourne, it was the first AO semifinal Djokovic had lost. “The streak was going to end, you know, one day,” reasoned the 10-time Australian Open champion. “But yeah, this has been a very special city, best, by far, Grand Slam of my career. I just hope that I'll get a chance to come back, to play at least another time and go through the emotions once more.”

Greatest swansong

Hsieh Su-Wei

It was the swansong that wasn’t quite the swansong. On New Year’s Eve, Hsieh Su-Wei announced that AO 2024 would be her last singles campaign. Her first-round loss to Anna Bondar in qualifying was subsequently considered her last singles match. Yet there was still plenty of Hsieh’s unorthodox style of tennis to appreciate, as the 38-year-old conjured a magical mixed doubles breakthrough with Poland’s Jan Zielinski, and teamed with Belgian Elise Mertens to win the women’s doubles title. “(I’m) still thinking the doubles is really fun,” smiled Hsieh in welcome news for both her partners and many supporters. Even better? Hsieh has since disclosed that she may still play a handful of singles events this year.