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Kubler-Hijikata make Australia proud; anxiety beats Tsitsipas in the 2023 Australian Open final

By Andris Heks - posted Monday, 30 January 2023

Well if Kubler did not go all the way in the singles, he managed to reach the quarter-final in the mixed doubles with his girlfriend, Inglis, and then went on to convincingly win the men's doubles with his competent younger friend, Hijikata, in the 2023 Australian Open.

For the first time since the 1997 Woodies-win in men's doubles, but now for two years in a row, two different pairs of Aussie wildcards won the Australian Open.

So, the 'Special Ks' now have a great rival in their own backyard.


As to the singles, many who hoped against hope, that Tsitsipas would somehow be able to deprive Djokovic of winning his staggering tenth Australian Open trophy, sighed with disappointment after the final.

In his runner-up speech after his defeat by a brilliant Djokovic, a gutted Tsitsipas graciously told us, that Djokovic has brought the best out of him.

But actually, it is perhaps closer to the truth that the final againt Djokovic brought the worse out of him of his entire performance record in Australia in this season, from his brilliant all-win matches in the United Cup, to his even more brilliant record throughout the 2023 Australian Open, until the final.

In all those matches, save this final, he has made a remarkably low number of unforced errors and a very high average of successful first serves.

By contrast, in the final, just when he would have needed the most to produce his highest percentage of first serves, he came up with the lowest percentage of first serves-in, through the entire season.

And he made a shocking 25 unforced errors, against Djokovic's mere 3.


There were times of brilliance from Tsitsipas during the match, which showed that he might have been able to win the final, had his anxiety not sabotaged his ability to maintain consistency throughout his game.

The top male singles players could be excused if they now meekly grumble about Djokovic, like Cassius did in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar -

'Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

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About the Author

Andris Heks worked as a Production Assistant and Reporter on 'This Day Tonight', ABC TV's top rating pioneering Current Affairs Program and on 'Four Corners' from 1970 till 1972. His is the author of the play 'Ai Weiwei's Tightrope Act' and many of his articles can be viewed here:

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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