The big names are falling by the wayside and new tennis sensations are geared to rule the courts.
There has been shocking results thus far in the women’s version of the Open in Melbourne.
Some of the biggest names in women’s tennis of this generation are understandably not at this year’s Australian Open.
But ae& bunch more went out early in Melbourne, including the top four seeds before the semifinals.
This was already the first major field without any woman with four or more Slam titles since the 2003 U.S. Open.
That is due to Serena Williams‘ retirement after the U.S. Open, Naomi Osaka‘s pregnancy break and Venus Williams‘ withdrawal due to injury.
Other multiple major winners are also absent: Simona Halep due to a provisional doping ban and Angelique Kerber due to pregnancy.
Not to mention reigning champion Ash Barty‘s retirement last March.
Once play began, high seeds started falling.
No. 2 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, the pride of Africa and Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up, was eliminated in the second round.
Then top-ranked Iga Swiatek‘s defeat in the fourth round blew open the bracket.
American Jessica Pegula, the No. 3 seed, lost in the last eight, moving to 0-5 in her career in major quarterfinals.
Still, two major champions will face off in the semifinals: Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, whose two Slams came Down Under in 2012 and 2013.
The other half of the draw features two of the most accomplished players yet to win a major: No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and 30th seed Karolina Pliskova, a former world No. 1.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.