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ICYMI at Australian Open: Federer, Wozniacki master Melbourne

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Winners and losers in Melbourne (2:01)

Jerry Bembry from The Undefeated provides his take on the winners and losers at the Australian Open. (2:01)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- After a fortnight of enthralling and captivating tennis at Melbourne Park, Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer emerged as the singles champions for 2018.

It was an action-packed two weeks which saw records shattered, controversies erupt, temperatures soar, an emergence of bright young stars and champions old and new.

Here's some of the best stats from a thoroughly enjoyable tournament Down Under:

  • For the first time in history, the men's Grand Slam final was played under a closed roof.

  • At 36 years, 137 days, Federer became the second oldest male player to win a major and oldest since Ken Rosewall in 1972. It was his 20th major title, making him the fourth male or female player in tennis history to reach that mark, joining Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.

  • The 2018 Australian Open marked the 200th Grand Slam since the start of the Open Era. With Federer winning his 20th major title, it means that he's accounted for 10 percent of the majors over that time.

  • Wozniacki's became the first Danish male or female to win a major title title. Her rise to No. 1 in the world came 2,665 days after she first held the top ranking.

  • 1965 was the last time both the men's and women's Australian Open finals went to deciding sets.

And now, without further ado, here's a look back at how the 2018 Australian Open unfolded:


The early American exodus

Day 1 of the tournament was certainly one to forget for the American contingent with Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Jack Sock, John Isner and CoCo Vandeweghe all sent packing in surprise upsets.

It added to the pain of seeing Serena Williams -- the 2017 ladies champion -- withdrawing from the event before it had got underway.

So disappointing were the Americans early on that by the conclusion of the third round just three of 31 remained in the running for singles glory: Madison Keys, Tennys Sandgren and Bernarda Pera.

So who was the biggest disappointment? It has to be Stephens, who since winning the US Open last year has gone 0-8 in professional matches. However, the 24-year-old insisted "nothing's going wrong."

"It's just the first two tournaments of the year. It happens," Stephens said after her first round loss to Shuai Zhang. "I'm sure it's happened to other players, as well."


The A-listers arrive Down Under

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood descended on Melbourne Park and helped add to the festive atmosphere.

First it was Will Ferrell who gatecrashed a Federer post-match interview before having the entire Aussie Open media contingent in stitches during the most hilarious 'press conference' of the tournament.

Then it was Will Smith's turn to take the spotlight. The actor watched Nick Kyrgios take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from behind the baseline before switching to a courtside seat.

His back-and-forth with Kyrgios after the clash had fans at the stadium, and those watching from home, in stitches.


Kyrgios excites the locals

Just like in previous years, Nick Kyrgios arrived at Melbourne Park with enormous expectation on his shoulders. However, something was a little different in 2018. He appeared a more mature and composed version of the Kyrgios who suffered a second round meltdown against Andreas Seppi in 2017.

The talented 22-year-old breezed by Rogerio Dutra Silva and Viktor Troicki to set up an entertaining third round clash against boyhood hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Frenchman threw everything at Kyrgios but struggled to contain his power-serving and heavy hitting. Kyrgios would go on to win in four sets, his first victory on Rod Laver Arena.

However, it would be the final victory of his tournament with Kyrgios falling to good friend and world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov (7-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6) in a high-quality fourth round contest.

Not a bad result and certainly a whole lot better than compatriot Bernard Tomic who failed to even qualify for the draw.


The mercury begins to rise (and rise!)

Would it really be an Aussie Open without soaring temperatures?

The tournament began in cool, overcast conditions but by Day 4 the mercury had risen to an unbearable 39ΒΊC (102.2ΒΊF). However, even with the scorching heat, Aussie Open officials still opted against enforcing the Excessive Heat Policy, at least until after the second set of the women's final.

Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils can consider themselves two of the more unlucky players. The pair met in the second round and spent two and three quarter hours on court before the six-time Australian Open champion prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

Djokovic's comments made post-match certainly raised a few eyebrows: "We're all blessed to have great financial compensation, great lives [but] at the same time, what is most important for us is our health and what happens after our careers. There are many players [who] can't physically walk, run, jog, whatever. They're struggling some way or another, health-wise or physiologically."

Fortunately the weather cooled off for the next few days before ramping up once again for both the men's and women's finals.


Champs fall, new faces go deep

Hyeon Chung. Tennys Sandgren. Kyle Edmund. These aren't names you generally associate with the second week of a major, but this wasn't no ordinary Slam.

The trio of relatively unheralded players slayed some of the game's biggest names en route to quarterfinal -- and for Chung and Edmund -- semifinal berths.

Chung announced himself with a stunning straight sets win over six-time Aussie Open champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round before overcoming Sandgren -- who earlier defeated Stan Wawrinka and fifth seed Dominic Thiem -- in the last eight.

For a brief moment Andy Murray became a forgotten man as compatriot Edmund wowed crowds and even let Britain dream of another men's singles champion. His greatest scalp in the tournament came when he knocked off No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals, but was unable to back up when he met Cilic in the semis.

On the women's side, we got a taste of the future when 15-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk progressed to the third round while plenty of past champions including Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova endured tournaments to forget.


Say that again, Tennys

Tennys Sandgren's incredible run to the quarterfinals was one of the feelgood stories of the tournament, until his controversial social media history came back to bite him.

The previously unknown journeyman, who at 26 came to Melbourne with an 0-2 Grand Slam record and had spent the majority of his career playing in lower-level Challenger events, captured the public's imagination with an unlikely run to the last eight before falling to rising star Hyeon Chung in straight sets.

But he won't only be remembered for his tennis this past fortnight after some of his social media activity appeared to link him to alt-right ideologies.

After bowing out of the tournament, Sandgren addressed the press but rather than immediately taking questions, he read a prepared statement, taking aim at the media for "putting people in these little boxes so that you can order the world in your already assumed preconceived ideas ... with a handful of follows and some likes on Twitter, my fate has been sealed in your minds."

His statement didn't wash with many inside and outside of his press conference. The same day as his defeat to Chung, former women's world No. 1 Serena Williams told Sandgren -- who deleted all of his messages on social media -- there was an "entire group of people that deserves an apology."

He did apologise soon after, for a post from 2012 in which he said a visit to gay club had "left his eyes bleeding," before then penning a lengthy statement ahead of the men's final.


Congratulations, Roger and Caroline

It was a tale of two very contrasting singles champions. On the men's side it was the indestructible Roger Federer, perhaps the greatest player to ever pick up a tennis racket, who prevailed and captured his 20th Grand Slam title after defeating Marin Cilic 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a gripping final.

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1:35

Federer overcomes challenge from Cilic to win Australian Open

Chris Fowler, John McEnroe and Patrick McEnroe break down Roger Federer's Australian Open victory over Marin Cilic.

However, on the women's side it was a completely different scenario: A first time winner in the form of Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane tasting her first major success after triumphing in an epic, rollercoaster three-setter against Simona Halep.

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1:22

Wozniacki wins Australian Open to capture first Grand Slam

Caroline Wozniacki takes down top-seeded Simona Halep 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 to claim the Australian Open title.

Two contrasting champions, but two absolutely deserving champions.