| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The first Grand Slam of the year concluded, amidst extreme emotions and compelling action. The event produced high drama and spectacular tennis.

On the men’s side, there was a lot of talk coming into the tournament about the young guns: The red hot Andy Murray, number three seed Novak Djokovic and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The men’s draw produced power tennis and marathon matches, but in the end, it came down to the inevitable: World number one Rafael Nadal and number two Roger Federer battled it out in the finals. Nadal claimed an emotionally draining five set win over his rival to win the title. Nadal’s mental toughness and conditioning made the difference. The 22-year-old Spaniard knows how to win and is committed to doing so. Nadal has stepped in front of Federer, having beaten him in the last three major finals they have competed in, and is now, unquestionably, the world’s best player.
On the women’s side, with 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova out with an injury, the title was there for the taking. Top-seeded women did not fare well in the opening rounds. Early exits by Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Venus Williams opened up the draw. In the end, Serena Williams overcame the heat and some erratic play to win the women’s title. Serena easily defeated Dinara Safina in the finals and is once again ranked number one in the world.
In men’s doubles, the top seeded duo of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic fell in the second round. The Bryan brothers (Mike and Bob) went on to win the doubles crown, defeating Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles in a fierce three-set final.
In women’s doubles, the Williams sisters captured their eighth Grand Slam Doubles Championship, giving the Americans a clean sweep in men’s and women’s doubles. Serena and Venus defeated Ai Sugiyama and Daniela Hantuchova to win the women’s crown.
The mixed doubles title went to Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi, who beat Natalie Dechy and Andy Ram in the finals.

It was a great event and great way to start the 2009 tennis season!