Whilst Day 13 of the Australian Open has passed and our feature matches discussed in detail, what has yet to be shared is the Men’s semi-final clashes — both blockbusters in their own right, and lessons to collectively enhance each respective player and their performance. Whether that be Medvedev coming back from two sets down to topple Zverev, or Sinner running away with the first two sets over Djokovic before a close encounter begun, both of these matches were an absolute triumph for not simply the Australian Open but for Men’s tennis overall with new tussles coming to light.
The first of which is Zverev leading the charge and almost closing it out against Medvedev. And boy was this a fun one to watch. By all means Zverev was the stronger player for most of the match, meanwhile Medvedev was doing his best to keep pace — on the back-foot for the majority of the match before the tide changed. And that’s what happened. Zverev was able to maintain an exceptional level of play — beyond his baseline that has been discussed in relationship to patterns of play and key progressions, that went above and surpassed Medvedev’s baseline and his respective patterns of play. But sure enough, the time would come when this newly formed baseline — that aligned with Zverev’s exceptional performance, would come to a progressive halt and allow Medvedev a window – ever so slightly, to claw his way back into an incredibly tight tiebreakers before the fifth was won with merely one break of serve separating the two.
Now, if that isn’t heartbreaking I don’t know what is. But this is the game of tennis and Zverev will live to fight another day and if he continues the level of performance he displayed in this semi-final, at least once more throughout the 2024 season, he is one of a handful of current Top 10 players with a high probability of making another Grand Slam semi-final with the capacity of potentially going all the way to secure his maiden Championship.
On the other hand, Medvedev put on an exceptional display of maintenance, whereby his active baseline was tight-knit and capable of withstanding the onslaught of Zverev before his nerves stayed in tact, in those incredibly close tiebreakers, before bringing it home. And this is what deserves the spotlight. Medvedev has arguably been one of the most underrated players over the past 2 to 3 seasons as the likes of Alcaraz and Djokovic held the spotlight for their own respective reasons. Yet, it was Medvedev, there the entire time, keeping pace with both of these players, and only falling slightly short at the final hurdle. Nonetheless, Medvedev was No. 2 in the world before Alcaraz took his place at the top of the game, and despite Alcaraz’s Grand Slam success, Medvedev has maintained his tight hold on the No. 3 ranking which is complemented by a number of Grand Slam final appearances.
Ironically, the other semi-final comprises of the two players who Medvedev has most frequently fallen against at the final stages and despite the scoreline it definitely delivered. By all accounts it was Sinner who came out of the blocks firing and didn’t give Djokovic a window to play his ‘standard’ game. But that isn’t to be confused with the aforementioned baseline or the typical ‘standardised’ level of play — we’re talking the type of play that Djokovic has made his own to secure 24 Grand Slam titles. Which means for Sinner to topple Djokovic at the semi-final stage of a Grand Slam, if you weren’t sitting on the data that preempted this, draws should have been dropping in various corners of the globe.
But that’s the fun part about science and data — analytics tell a different tale and our predictive analytics preempted this two seasons prior. Yet the work involved to get to this level of play from Sinner has been an absolute — from solidifying the 7 Keys into his game and to topple Djokovic, the 8th Key needed to be front and centre. This isn’t to be mistaken, however, with a lacklustre performance from Djokovic. Credit goes to Sinner for pushing the World No.1 to the brink of the first two sets without a glimpse of a window in sight for Djokovic to snag his rhythm and/or key patterns of play. Rather, it was Sinner who flipped the table and did what Djokovic has so often done — fired from the get-go and held steady until close.
And this is what makes a Grand Slam Champion. Whilst the result of the Australian Open Championship is widely known with a new historic milestone for tennis, these four ATP players along with the four WTA players who made it to the semifinal stage really need to be placed into the limelight for such a stellar start to the 2024 season. The same applies for the level of tennis, the new baselines formed and ultimately, how both Sinner and Sabalenka were preempted to reach these heights two seasons prior — as our predictive analytics uncovered in “The 7 Keys to Optimise Your Life: Using Tennis to Develop Behaviours that Deliver Optimal Performances in Play and in Life“. And as a bonus, “How to Develop a Top 10 Tennis Ranking: the Power of the 8th Key” along ran this home for both of these players and why these results are not shocking in any way, shape or form, rather they go to show how integral all 8 Keys are and what players need to do to progress towards this exclusive ranking range.
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