A group of Americans made their mark at this year's Australian Open, with three women reaching the quarterfinals or further. With the first Grand Slam of 2021 out of the way, here are the Americans to keep an eye on as the season continues:
Finalist, Australian Open
Brady had the best run at a major of her career in Melbourne this year by reaching the final before losing to Naomi Osaka. The 25-year-old had previously appeared in the semifinals of the 2020 US Open. Despite losing in straight sets to the now four-time Grand Slam champion, Brady gained lots of fans and ranking points for her accomplishment in Melbourne.
Doubles Finalist and Mixed Doubles Champion, Australian Open
There was a chance for Rajeev Ram and his partner, Joe Salisbury, to become the first team since 2011 to win back-to-back Australian Open titles, but luck was not on their side. Despite the loss to pair Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek, Ram did manage to snag the mixed doubles title with Barbora Krejcikova (they also won the Australian Open in 2019).
2019 2021 pic.twitter.com/I3DkTGVRnl— Rajeev Ram (@RajeevRam) February 20, 2021
Semifinalist, Australian Open
Serena Williams is still seeking an elusive 24th major title. The American only dropped on set on her way to the semifinal against Osaka, but the eventual champion proved to be too much, improving her head-to-head record against Serena to 3-2. Still, this was Serena's best run in the Australian Open since winning the title in 2017, suggesting a bright 2021 ahead for the 39-year-old.
Champion, ATP Challenger, South Africa
On Sunday, Jenson Brooksby raised the first ATP Challenger title of his career by defeating Teymuraz Gabashvili from a set down, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. This was Brooksby's third tournament since turning pro. The 20-year-old is definitely someone to look out for in 2021.
Quarterfinalist, Australian Open
The Australian Open was the best tournament of Pegula's career. She reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, defeating Victoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina along the way. The 26-year-old even managed to take a set off the eventual finalist Brady, in the quarterfinals. For Pegula, this year is just getting started.