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Tennis’ first major tournament, the Australian Open, concludes this weekend. For two weeks, tennis fans (and North American night owls) have been following the drama, and the heat, in Melbourne. Of the two singles events, the women’s final will be on Saturday, and the men’s on Sunday.
The women’s final is set. Eighth-seeded Petra Kvitová and fourth-seeded US Open champion Naomi Osaka will each play for their first Australian Open championship on Saturday.
A pair of name brands appear in Friday’s semifinals, and experts are predicting a Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal final on Sunday. Numbers 1 and 2 on the men’s side will face Lucas Pouille and Stefanos Tsitsipas, respectively.
Perhaps the biggest name not appearing in the last four is Serena Williams, who was eliminated by Plíšková. Williams dropped six games in a row, and four match points, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal. Her attempt to tie Margaret Court’s 24 major titles will have to wait until May.
Has the dominance of the Big Four— Djokovic, Nadal, defending champion Roger Federer, and Andy Murray— held back the men’s singles game? No one under the age of 30 can claim a major title, and with the ATP Tour promoting a new crop of stars under 21, many are left wondering if the game has skipped a generation.