Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia, and Caroline Wozniacki upset at Australian Open

  • Ons Jabeur vs. Mirra Andreeva
  • Caroline Garcia vs. Magdalena French
  • Caroline Wozniacki vs. Maria Timofeeva
Daniel Pockett/GettyImages

While the first round of the women's draw of the 2024 Australian Open was fairly routine, the second round got underway with three upsets. Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia, and Caroline Wozniacki were all defeated.

The most significant upset of the three was sixth-ranked Jabeur losing in straight sets to 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva. 6-0, 6-2. Jabeur has not played in any warmup events this season which may have been a catastrophic choice. This is Andreeva's first win against a Top 10 player, and Jabeur happens to be her idol so it was especially significant for her.

Caroline Garcia played a spectacular almost perfect first-round match against Naomi Osaka but fell to Magdalena French 7-6, 6-4. In her first Australian Open in four years, 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki lost to Russian qualifier Maria Timofeeva 6-1, 4-6, 1-6. Wozniacki returned to tennis last fall after having two children intending to win Grand Slams so this loss is a big disappointment for her.

The youth movement has arrived

Like it or not, the youth movement has arrived in force in women's tennis. Jabeur, Garcia, and Wozniacki are 29, 30, and 33 years old respectively. French is 26 years old, but the women who defeated Jabeur and Wozniacki are 16 and 20 years old respectively.

This is another reason why it is so difficult for women to have babies, take maternity leave, return to the WTA, and win Grand Slams. Only Kim Clijsters has done it in recent history. Young players all over the world are emerging, and are getting necessary experience in their absence.

The top four players are 25 or under with Coco Gauff being the sole teenager of the group. It is an extraordinary evolution in the game when a few years ago Serena Willaims continued to dominate the game and win Grand Slams into her 30s.

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