The 2017 Australian Open: one to remember

Williams vs. Williams and Federer vs. Nadal aka “Fedal” have been two of the greatest rivalries in sports history. 

20 years of nail-biting 5-set championship matches have caught the attention of tennis fans all over the world.

Serena Williams, age 35, and Venus Williams, age 36, are two sisters from Compton, California. 

Serena is the more accomplished of the two with 22 Grand Slam singles championship titles all spread out amongst the four Major Championships: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. On the Men’s side of this year’s Australian Open Singles Final is Roger Federer, age 35, of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal, age 30, of Spain on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Saturday, Jan. 27 will mark the ninth meeting of Serena Williams and Venus Williams in a major final. 

Serena Williams is the current world number two and Venus is the world number fourteen. Starting in 1994, these two powerhouse players and considerably the greatest female tennis players of all time made their marks on the Women’s Tennis Association tour.

 Similar to many sibling sports rivalries, Venus, the older sister dominated Serena in their early meeting. 2002 marked the turn of the tide for the rivalry, with Serena Williams won the four major tennis titles and beating her sister in majority of their meetups. Serena currently leads her sister sixteen to eleven in their head to head. Taking home championship victories are familiar to both Williams sisters, Serena has twenty-two grand-slam wins while Venus has seven. The importance of the sisters meetup in the Australian Open championship this year is more significant than any other before, especially for female and minority fans all over. Serena and Venus grew up in one of the worst cities in America and willed themselves to become great champions in a predominately white dominate sport. The sisters continued domination of tennis has been legendary not only for the record books books but also the hearts of non-sports fans. Beyond their success on the tennis court, Venus and Serena are very close and have even lived together for many years in Florida. Remaining close has been a priority for the two for years.

2017’s men’s draw has been dominated by the same men who dominated tennis ten years ago, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer aka as “The Swiss Maestro” made his debut on the Association for Tennis Professionals tour in 1998. Given his nickname is “The Swiss Maestro” it is known that his game style can be described as beautiful and graceful. Throw his delicate style of play, Federer has won seventeen Grand Slam singles titles. For these accomplishments he is considered the greatest of all time, similar to his rival Rafael Nadal. Nadal was raised in Spain and became a professional tennis player in 2001. Known as the “King of Clay” Rafael has a grinding style of play that is not as smooth-looking as his counterpart Roger Federer but just as enjoyable to watch. Nadal’s “never give up” attitude is the reason he has accomplished fourteen career Grand Slam titles. While Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer dominated tennis and most of the public view of tennis from 2005-2010, the most defining quality between the two is their swing-styles of the racquet. Federer is a right-handed player with a flatter shot while Nadal is a left-handed player with more spin oriented style of play. These two opposing styles bring the perfect blend of power versus grace. Nadal and Federer have met thirty-four times with Nadal have the 23-11 head to head advantage. Federer v. Nadal has been considered the greatest rivalry in tennis history ever since their famous meeting at the Wimbledon Championships in 2008 aka “the greatest tennis match in history.” 

Rivalries in sports have attracted fans for many years now, from Bears vs Green Bay in football to Cardinals vs Cubs in baseball. Consideration of stakes and quality decides the importance of these rivalries. In tennis, Serena Williams vs Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer has always had the stake of making history and the quality of the highest level of the sport. Beyond one rivalry being a match-up of two women and another of two men these rivalries share equal importance to die-hard fans and even non-tennis fans, Sports have only benefited from the likes of the Williams sisters, Federer and Nadal. In sports, great competition means a great time and the 2017 Australian Open for everyone in the sport’s world. 

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