Are you ready to embrace the chaos, tennis fans? Or maybe you already have. The 2024 tennis season started with four tournaments and trying to keep track of each one is a tall task unless you have a bunch of screens set up as if you are the CIA of the tennis world. And no, I am not saying I don't have a bunch of screens set up.
But at least things get a bit more streamlined over the next few weeks. The Adelaide International gets underway this week but doesn't have much competition from many other tournaments going on at once. Next Sunday, the Australian Open gets started.
After the Aussie Open, tennis moves mostly to the Western Hemisphere with tournaments in both North and South America throughout February and March. There are a couple of other tournaments sprinkled in elsewhere, however. But here is some news for Sunday.
Victoria Azarenka takes issue with the Tennis Channel
Jelena Ostapenko has a bit of a temper. She often takes issue with chair umpires she feels are making bad decisions in favor of her opponents. Maybe sometimes she is correct that a poor decision was made. Ostapenko had a bit of a meltdown last week in a loss to Azarenka at the Brisbane International while on her way to losing to Azarenka. But the post-match handshake has recently gotten some notice as well.
The Tennis Channel sent out a since-deleted tweet making fun of how the handshake looked. Azarenka found this extremely disrespectful by the Tennis Channel, however, and responded by saying, "What an embarrassing post." And she was correct as Ostapenko was not upset at Azarenka but at the chair umpire. You can see the full exchange below.
Dominic Thiem will start in the main draw of the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem has struggled for the last 300 years (seemingly) with a wrist injury. The ailment has caused him to not be in great form and his ranking has plummeted. So much so that he would have had to qualify for the Australian Open. But Thiem's luck might be turning around.
There have been a few withdrawals from the first Grand Slam of 2024 and the latest has allowed Thiem to skip qualifying and enter the main draw in Melbourne. American Reilly Opelka was forced to withdraw late last week. Whether Thiem is able to do much at the major with an injured wrist is another question, but at least he will have a chance to prove what he can do.
Don't ask Alex de Minaur about marrying Katie Boulter
After defeating Novak Djokovic, another player who seems to be dealing with a wrist injury, Alex de Minaur was giving a press conference in which one question was not about tennis but if de Minaur would soon be asking girlfriend Boulter to marry him. This, of course, was following possibly de Minaur's biggest victory of his career. The question was out of place.
Fans on Reddit went crazy over the question but mostly with anger directed at the reporter who asked. And fans were right to vent their frustration by saying things such as "This is an unprofessional question to put to someone," and "(What) kinda question is that?? Journalist should be embarrassed." All true.
De Minaur answered the question by saying, "Jeez. Putting me on the spot here. Yeah, it's not on the cards just yet. Not ruling it out. But yeah, for the time being, I'm going to try and focus on playing tennis, and then we'll think about the off-court activities." Well stated.