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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2023: AP quiz on the year’s 1st tennis Slam

Jan 11, 2023, 3:31 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 7:37 am

FILE - United States' Serena Williams makes a forehand return to compatriot Danielle Collins during...

FILE - United States' Serena Williams makes a forehand return to compatriot Danielle Collins during a tuneup event ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

How well do you know the Australian Open, which is scheduled to begin at Melbourne Park on Monday morning (Sunday night EST)? Try this AP quiz about the year’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament:

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1st Round: Novak Djokovic is back in Australia to pursue a 10th championship there and 22nd Grand Slam title overall after being deported a year ago because was not vaccinated against COVID-19. Who was the last player to beat Djokovic at Melbourne Park? (Bonus: Name the year and the round of the match.)

a.) Andreas Seppi

b.) Hyeon Chung

c.) Tennys Sandgren

d.) Kei Nishikori

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2nd Round: Barring an unexpected comeback by one or the other, 2023 will be the first tennis season since what year with neither Serena Williams nor Roger Federer participating in any Grand Slam tournament? (Bonus: Before 2022, when neither Williams or Federer reached at least the quarterfinals at any of the four majors, what was the last year that one or the other failed to do so?)

a.) 1997

b.) 1998

c.) 1999

d.) 2000

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3rd Round: In 2022, Ash Barty beat Danielle Collins in the Australian Open final to win the title without dropping a set. Barty, who would retire soon afterward at age 25, was the first Australian woman to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament since who? (Bonus: Who was the last Australian man to win the singles title there and when did he do it?)

a.) Wendy Turnbull

b.) Kerry Melville Reid

c.) Evonne Goolagong

d.) Chris O’Neil

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4th Round: Who has spent the most weeks at No. 1 since computerized tennis rankings were introduced in the 1970s? (Bonus: What is the record?)

a.) Novak Djokovic

b.) Steffi Graf

c.) Jimmy Connors

d.) Martina Navratilova

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Quarterfinals: Australian great Rod Laver is the only man to win a calendar-year Grand Slam twice. How many Australian Open singles titles did Laver win in all? (Bonus: Name the years for each one.)

a.) 3

b.) 4

c.) 5

d.) 6

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Semifinals: Of the past 10 women’s semifinals at Melbourne Park, how many were won by someone without a previous victory at that stage of the Australian Open? (Bonus: Name all of the semifinal winners in that span who HAD previously won a semifinal there — if there were any.)

a.) 3

b.) 7

c.) 9

d.) 10

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Women’s Final: How many women won at least one of the past 15 Australian Open singles titles? (Bonus: Name them.)

a.) 4

b.) 6

c.) 8

d.) 10

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Men’s Final: How many men have won at least one of the the past 15 Australian Open singles titles? (Bonus: Name them.)

a.) 4

b.) 6

c.) 8

d.) 10

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ANSWERS

1st Round. b. Djokovic’s most recent on-court setback at the Australian Open was a 7-6 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3) loss to Hyeon Chung. Bonus: It happened in the fourth round in 2018, when Djokovic was dealing with a painful right elbow; he would soon have surgery.

2nd Round. a. Williams made her Grand Slam debut in 1998 and entered at least one major tournament every year until 2022, when she said she would be “evolving” away from her playing days after the U.S. Open. Federer’s first major came in 1999 and he participated in at least two — but usually all four — every season until 2020, when he only appeared at the Australian Open before a series of knee operations that hastened the end of his career. He played in two more Slams in 2021, then announced his retirement last September. Bonus: In 2006, Williams made it to the third round at the Australian Open and fourth round at the U.S. Open, while sitting out the French Open and Wimbledon because of pain in her left knee.

3rd Round. d. O’Neil won the 1978 Australian Open for her only Grand Slam singles trophy, defeating Betsy Nagelsen 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the final. O’Neil never made it past the second round on any other appearance at the Open — or past the third round at any other major tournament. Bonus: The most recent Australian man to win the singles championship at the Australian Open was Mark Edmondson, who beat countryman John Newcombe in four sets in the 1976 final.

4th Round. b. Bonus: Graf led the WTA for 377 weeks. Djokovic holds the ATP mark of 373.

Quarterfinals. a. Laver’s first major trophy came in his home country in 1960 and he also won in Australia in 1962 and 1969 as part of his two true Slams. Laver won Wimbledon four times and the French Open and U.S. Open twice apiece, for a total of 11 majors, but he missed out on a chance to add more during much of the 1960s because he turned professional before Grand Slam tournaments allowed pros to enter.

Semifinals. c. All but one of the past 10 women’s finalists at the Australian Open had never been there before. Bonus: The exception was Naomi Osaka, who was a first-timer in 2019, when she won the title, but of course was not when she returned to the championship match — and won it again — two years later.

Women’s Final. d. Since 2008, when Maria Sharapova won her Australian Open trophy, 10 different players have been the last woman standing at the hard-court tournament that opens each Grand Slam season. Bonus: The other champs in that span were Serena Williams (2009, 2010, 2015, 2017), Kim Clijsters (2011), Victoria Azarenka (2012, 2013), Li Na (2014), Angelique Kerber (2016), Caroline Wozniacki (2018), Naomi Osaka (2019, 2021), Sofia Kenin (2020) and Ash Barty (2022).

Men’s Final. a. Only four men have managed to claim the championship at Melbourne Park over the past 1 1/2 decades; indeed, that quartet’s dominant streak extends to 2006, when Roger Federer earned the second of his total haul of six Australian Open titles. Bonus: Federer’s other triumphs in the last 15 years were in 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018. The other men’s trophies went to Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021), Stan Wawrinka (2014) and Rafael Nadal (2009, 2022).

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2023: AP quiz on the year’s 1st tennis Slam