One of the foremost chroniclers of the story of tennis over the past 45 years returns to the Tennis With An Accent Podcast to preview the 2019 Australian Open. Steve Flink is the author of “The Greatest Tennis Matches Of All Time,” a must-have for tennis fans who want to study the history of the sport. He has been reporting on tennis since 1974. Steve applies his knowledge of tennis history and his far-ranging awareness of both tours to this preview of the 2019 Australian Open with host Saqib Ali.
In a conversation which touches on dozens of topics, Saqib begins by asking Steve about the evolution of the Australian Open into the tournament it is today. When did the Australian Open truly become, in Flink’s words, “a bona fide, serious Grand Slam event”? What development began to change perceptions about the significance of the Australian Open and led the tournament to make its most important transformation among players?
Saqib and Steve then preview the first major tournament of the year. Get Steve Flink’s insights — in chronological order as the show continues — on numerous players which will make headlines, win or lose, in Melbourne. The guys hit on Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Kevin Anderson, Roberto Bautista Agut, Roger Federer, the top ATP storylines in 2019, and more.
The discussion then shifts to the WTA side of the Australian Open as the guys discuss Serena Williams and her level of fitness and the historical resonance of chasing major title No. 24 in Australia, as opposed to the other three nations which host major tournaments.
The conversation, before returning to other WTA players, deals with the use of a final-set tiebreaker in women’s matches at the Australian Open, even though the men — with players such as John Isner — are more inclined to play extreme-length matches. Steve dives into an explanation of the Australian Open’s 10-point tiebreaker and whether it makes sense compared to the traditional seven-point tiebreaker.
Finally, the guys wrap up the ladies’ draw by talking Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Aryna Sabalenka, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and her coaching changes, and what WTA storyline that Steve is focused on in 2019.
The Australian Open begins on the night of Sunday, January 13. Get Steve Flink’s Australian Open insights this week on the latest Tennis With An Accent podcast. Follow our coverage at tennisaccent.com, and follow us on Twitter at @accent_tennis.
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Music provided by Teknoaxe and used under the terms of CC (Creative Commons) 4.0 license.