Tennis royalty in holiday mode after Australian Open campaigns

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Some of the biggest names in tennis are enjoying a welcome break after the first grand slam of the year.

Fresh from deep runs at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and the recently retired Caroline Wozniacki have taken some time away for holidays.

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Nadal experienced a hectic start to the 2020 season, playing in Perth and Sydney for the ATP Cup, Melbourne for the Australian Open, Kuwait and then Cape Town for a charity match with Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki and Novak Djokovic. Image: Instagram

While a number of top players are now slugging it out at tournaments in Rotterdam and New York, Nadal is enjoying some downtime at home on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

The World No.2 posted a number of happy snaps on Instagram on Tuesday, showing him enjoying a day on a boat soaking up some sun.

And while Djokovic is also enjoying a break, his couldn’t be more different to Nadal’s.

The Australian Open champion is currently hitting the slopes on a skiing holiday with his family in the Dolomites in Italy.

Photos show Djokovic lapping up the snow with wife Jelena Ristic and their children Stefan, 5, and Tara, 2.

As for Wozniacki, she’s clearly embracing retirement.

The former World No.1 stopped over in New Zealand on her way home after the Australian Open, taking in the incredible scenery in Queenstown.

The former Australian Open champion bowed out of the sport in typically fighting fashion last month, going down to Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur in a third round thriller.

Renowned for being one of the greatest competitors throughout her career on the women’s circuit, Wozniacki went down 7-5 3-6 7-5 to Jabeur in a tight encounter.

She was then in floods of tears as she paid special tribute to her lifelong coach and father Piotr.

“I usually don't cry, so sorry but these are the special memories that I will always cherish,” she said.

“It's been a great ride. I'm ready for the next chapter. I'm really excited about what's next to come.”

Djokovic overtakes Nadal as World No.1

Djokovic returned to No.1 in the ATP rankings after winning his eighth Australian Open title.

The Serbian star’s 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dominic Thiem in the final at Melbourne Park allowed the 32-year-old to rise one spot and move back ahead of Nadal.

Nadal had overtaken Djokovic in November and at age 33 became the oldest year-end World No.1.

But Nadal lost ranking points by getting eliminated in the Australian Open quarter-finals by Thiem, one year after he was runner-up to Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic beat Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open final. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This is Djokovic's 277th week leading the ATP, the third-most in the history of the computerised rankings which began in the 1970s.

Federer holds the record of 310, followed by Pete Sampras with 286.

If Djokovic can stay at No.1 until the first week of October, he will surpass Federer.

“That's one of the two biggest goals, for sure,” said Djokovic, who defeated Federer in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

“I mean, there is no secret in that.”

with AFP