Florida players ready themselves for the Australian Open
Jan 14, 2024
As the tennis world eagerly anticipates the start of the 2024 Australian Open, the spotlight is shining bright on the talent of USTA Florida athletes. With a mix of seasoned veterans and rising stars, this group of seven are destined to take center stage in Melbourne, Australia.
Let’s take a closer look at the lineup featuring Coco Gauff, Sofia Kenin, Sloane Stephens, Danielle Collins, Amanda Anisimova, Ben Shelton, and Sebastian Korda.
Teenage sensation, Coco Gauff continues to take over the tennis world with her electrifying style of play. So far in 2024, Gauff has found success, winning the ASB Classic just a week ago. The 19-year-old is looking to build on her Grand Slam achievements, after taking home the 2023 US Open.
Above: Delray Beach-based player Coco Gauff. Photo: New Balance.
Taking the tennis world by storm in 2023, was young-phenom Ben Shelton. He had an incredible year, which was capped off by reaching the semifinals at the US Open, where he lost to the champion Novak Djokovic. At the start of last year, Shelton burst onto the scene where he found immediate success in the first Grand Slam. He made it all the way to the quarterfinals and is looking to have an even better finish this time around.
Making her return to the tennis court in 2024 is 22-year-old Amanda Anisimova. Back in May 2023, the young talent announced an indefinite break from the sport. Battling mental health is no easy task, and Anisimova wanted to take some time and prioritize her mental well-being going forward. USTA Florida and the tennis world is thrilled to see her healthy and back competing on tennis’ biggest stage.
Sofia Kenin is looking to reclaim a title that was once hers as she enters 2024. Kenin secured her first Grand Slam title at the 2020 Australian Open and followed that up by consistently finishing in the top of the tournament. After dealing with injury in 2022, last year was her first year back competing throughout the season.
The seasoned veteran, Sloane Stephens, has been competing as a professional for the past 15 years. With her experience and grit, she will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament.
Just two years ago, Danielle Collins was playing in the finals for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and in 2024 she has her eyes set on capturing her first Grand Slam title. With a powerful forehand and a relentless work ethic, Collins enters the tournament with her eyes set on the prize.
Above: Danielle Collins. Photo: Carine06 from UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Rounding out Florida players is Bradenton’s very own, Sebastian Korda. The 23-year-old enters 2024 with tons of potential and promise. He rolls into the Australian Open as the No. 29 seed and a desire to make his presence felt on the global stage. The son of former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, Sebastian is hopeful to follow in his dad’s footsteps and lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. Sebastian has tons of experience at the event and is a junior champion, which he accomplished in 2018.
As the USTA Florida athletes descend upon Melbourne, the stage is set for a tennis display that is certain to excite fans around the globe. The Australian Open is a blank canvas for these players, and they have the power to create their own picture.
The 2024 Australian Open runs through January 27th. Make sure to check out the schedule to get all match times localized. As USTA Florida celebrates 75 years of Florida tennis, the organization will be following the journey of all our athletes throughout the event and year on social media, so make sure to stay updated on all things Florida Tennis.
Written by: Jaret Kappelman, Marketing & Communications Coordinator for USTA Florida. Be sure to check out USTA Florida, the governing body of amateur tennis in Florida, offering tennis programs for all ages and ability levels. Top Photo: © On.