Ferrer isn't ready to go down quietly: Every year it seems like Ferrer is going to take a step back. His game is largely based on his incredible endurance, speed and footwork, and that gets harder and harder to sustain as a player gets into his thirties. Ferrer was struggling heading into
with losses in tune ups to Sock and Marchenko.
However, he was impressive in taking down Americans Steve Johnson and
John Isner, before putting up a good fight against Murray in the quarters. Ferrer's ranking will probably fall off a bit
in 2016, but it looks like he's going to continue to give it everything he's got
in the coming year.
There's not much separating the winners from the losers: Angelique Kerber had the tournament of her life. She beat pre-tournament favorites Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, won her first grand slam title and rose to number 2 in the world. Not a bad couple of weeks for the German. But it could have been a completely different story for Kerber if a net cord or shank went against her when she was down match point to Misaki Doi of
Japan in her
first round match. While the announcers
did give this some attention during the finals, it really is remarkable. She was one point away from being a first
round loser, having to face continued questions about her record in majors,
etc, and then she goes out and wins the whole tournament. Regardless of where Kerber goes from here, she'll
always have the label tennis pros want more than anything next to their name:
grand slam champion.
American men weren't ready to take the next step: American men were confident heading into
Australia, but left without much to
show for it. Isner and Johnson were
mowed down by Ferrer, and neither put up much of a fight. Meanwhile, Sock lost to Lukas Rosol in the
second round. Sock was sick heading into
the tournament, but has to make some changes if he truly wants to become a top
singles player who can challenge for grand slam titles. In hindsight, maybe Sock shouldn't have
played a tournament the week before the Australian Open. (He probably should have played Brisbane and gotten some real matches under his belt two weeks in advance as opposed to the Hopman Cup exhibition). His decision to continue to play doubles in
grand slams also has to be questioned, as for the second straight grand slam he
lost a match in which fatigue and/or illness was an issue. His future is still extremely bright, but he
may have to make some hard decisions going forward if he wants to improve his
results in the biggest events.