Why you should be watching the Australian Open

Tennis!

Rafael Nadal at the 2018 Australian Open.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, a tennis upset of historic proportions was brewing at the 2018 Australian Open. But barely anyone in the Western Hemisphere was awake to see it.

That's a shame, because over the last decade, the Australian Open has ranged from consistently excellent to occasionally transcendent. It's not easy to stay awake for — a 7:30 p.m. match in Melbourne starts at 3:30 a.m. on America's East Coast — but if there's one thing in sports worth waking up (or staying up) for, it's the first Grand Slam of the year. This year, the festivities began with fifth-seeded Venus Williams losing in a major upset to unseeded Swiss player Belinda Bencic in the first round, while America's big server John Isner fell to unranked Aussie Matthew Ebden — the first official surprises in an event known for them.

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