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Saturday, 26 January, 2002, 10:43 GMT
Aussie Open reactions
Sweden's Thomas Johansson beat Marat Safin in the men's final while America's Jennifer Capriati defeated a resurgent Martina Hingis
Following Jennifer Capriati's win over Martina Hingis, Thomas Johansson upsets Marat Safin in the men's singles final at the Australian Open.

Can Johansson follow up his Grand Slam success or is he a one-hit wonder? And is Hingis a major player once more?


Johansson's 3-6 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4) defeat of Safin at the age of 26 gives hope to Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, who have yet to break the duck on the major stage.

Meanwhile, Martina Hingis looks to be on the road back to the top despite a 4-6 7-6 6-2 defeat by Jennifer Capriati in the women's final.

But can Johansson repeat his Australian Open triumph and is Hingis back to her best?


There was much talk at the beginning of the tournament about how easy the top women players have it in the game. However, I think by the end of the fortnight people now realise that the superiority of a top handful of women players makes for exciting viewing.

People like to see the top players meet in the big matches, and the dominance of the Williams, Davenport, Hingis, Capriati, Seles, Clijsters group enables this. They are not invincible and lower ranked players can stretch them and even defeat them, but, you know at the end of a tournament there are going to be two fantastic champions battling it out.

On the other hand, as much as I would congratulate Johansson and Safin on their success, men's tennis simply lacks the personalities and rivalries of the women's game.
Ian, UK

As someone who was lucky enough to go to both finals I have to say that that they were both exciting and excellent to watch, albeit in different ways.

Capriati's return from the dead was incredible. It was very hot in the stands and I cannot imagine how she kept going. She is a true champ.

Johansson played out of his skin. He will probably never play as well again but on the day he totally deserved to win. Safin will be back but on Sunday he was second best.
Emma, Ireland

I hope next year will be better
Elishvea, Israel

Congrats to both of the champions. I do however feel particularly sorry to for Hingis. She is without doubt the most talented player on the women's tour and the best to watch. As Capriati stood behind the baseline slugging the ball back, Hingis showed variety - sublime drop shots and daring winners.
Peter Parker, UK

Hingis supporters like to portray her as a genuinely great tennis player pitting her court craft against the brute force of Williams, Davenport, Capriati et al. Complete myth.

Greatness is about bringing your whole character to the game, not just your technique. In this respect, Hingis falls well short of a truly great champion like Steffi Graf (witness the 99 French Open debacle). No Grand Slams in three years, one title in the past 12 months. Face it guys, your girl just ain't good enough. Well played Jennifer.
Christian Clarke, England

As a former Aussie I always love watching the Australian open, but this year I was highly disappointed that almost all of the top-seeded men players were defeated in the first stages of the games, I hope next year will be better.
Elishvea, Israel

The Capriati - Hingis final was a Grand Slam classic, make no mistake. Thomas Johansson, meanwhile, though it can be argued you can only beat what's put in front of you, is one of the least worthy Grand Slam winners of the past decade.

Safin aside, he did not face a single ATP heavyweight. As Tony Pickard said, "in all my years of watching tennis, I've never seen a tournament fall apart as this one has."
Gavin Versi, England

Big congratulations to Mr. Johansson - he deserved to win
The Saint, Philippines

First, I have to say that Thomas played very solid tennis out there at Melbourne Park. There's no doubt that he got the better of Safin. But for him to win another one would be very doubtful. Safin is the best tennis player right now, although he tends to be very fragile mentally which also contributed to his loss. But if there's one person to dominate tennis it will be Safin, no argument.
Rimoldi, Philippines/Singapore

Big congratulations to Mr. Johansson! I expected him to lose the match after a dismal first set, but what a performance in the second, third, and fourth. He deserved to win.
The Saint, Philippines

Does anybody agree that it might be a good idea to have the Australian open moved forward when the temperatures won't be as high?
Jaime, Panama

I wanted to see Hingis win, after losing the two previous finals. I quess Capriati was just the better on the day. On the men's I was delighted for Johannson, I thought he really deserved to win.
Íde, Ireland

Johansson is a one-timer like Cash, Sabatini and Gomez and many others, he admitted himself that he never thought he was a Grand Slammer. As far as Capriati is concerned, she is really amazing, she has shown that she has real mental fortitude - good luck to her.
Mats, UK

All finals in the Australian Open should either be played under covers or in the evening.
Charley, New Zealand

How many players or champions do you know who can come back from one set and 4-0 down to take the title. Give Jennifer her dues. Not wanting to take anything away from Martina, Jennifer gave her best and in the end it counted. You have to take your chances in life, go for broke when the situation demands it. I salute the new and reigning Aussie Women's Champion.
Andrew Weenson, United Kingdom

In the future, all finals in the Australian Open should either be played under covers or in the evening. Does anyone seriously think that the best players necessarily won the two singles open titles? It was simply a survival of those who where best acclimatised to the conditions, especially in the women's final.

One final comment, what blatantly biased Australian commentators, roll on the technology which allows us to switch off sports commentators and listen only to the crowd sounds.
Charley, New Zealand

No depth in the women's game? Sounds like sour grapes from the guys. It's all in the entertainment, not the depth. Look at the ratings and crowds. There's a reason the women's final at the U.S. Open is broadcast during prime time and the men's final isn't.

And there was no comparison when it came to these finals. Capriati was amazing and Hingis just a little less so while the Johansson v Safin (oh, sorry, I fell asleep) was flat. A well deserved win for Johansson, but, with all due respect, the vocal cheering section was more interesting than the champion.

Hingis had played the most attractive and intelligent tennis of the fortnight, and it looked set to continue in the final
Martin Hudecek, England

Guys, you can keep your so-called depth, I'll take Hingis, Capriati & co. That's entertainment.
Rosanna, US

While some are describing the women's final as a classic and good for tennis, I was left pretty dejected. Hingis had played the most attractive and intelligent tennis of the fortnight, and it looked set to continue in the final.

But the nerves of uncertainty (see French Open vs Graf) caught up with her, and she had precious little luck on the match points. The third set was a joke as Martina clearly was out of it.

Capriati showed very little imagination or variety and was simply the one left standing at the end. Can everyone just forget this fairytale story's clearly desperate hyperbole to prep up falling tennis interest in America (c.f. Andy Roddick).
Martin Hudecek, England

Thomas' performance was very impressive and he deserves to win. Marat however has a long future and surely will win more Grand Slams. Watch out for Martina, she's coming back to win and win and win!
Amanda, Indonesia

The women's finals were a tribute to women's tennis
Irving Ratner, USA

Safin is definitely my man for the rest of the decade. But hats off to Johansson on a good win. After Ivanisevic's triumph at Wimbledon and now Johansson, maybe Henman can also break the jinx. But, watch out for Safin in the coming years. Despite the loss today, I hope he has a fab birthday.
Nandita Ahmed, US

The women's finals were a tribute to women's tennis. The play was exciting and very interesting. It was too bad that the heat played a factor in determining the outcome of the match.

Both athletes gave their all in the unusually hot weather. The French Open should provide the next meeting possibly between Martina and Jennifer and determine if Jennifer can repeat her victory at Paris in 2001.
Irving Ratner, USA

I'm happy that we got a worthy winner. Johansson outplayed Safin with his backhand today. Safin was noble in his defeat and he will most certainly win many Grand Slams in the future, although Johansson probably wont.
Daniel, Sweden

If Thomas Johansson can win a Grand Slam, then certainly Tim Henman can also win one. Tennis is not only a game of skills but also a certain amount of luck is involved in winning a Grand Slam.
Bee, Philippines

Martina Hingis is technically the greatest woman ever to pick up a tennis racket
David F, England

Martina Hingis may be the greatest women's tennis player from a technical standpoint. However, she simply does not have the size and power to win majors against the world's best.
John Whipple, USA

Johansson can back it up again, but he will have to wait until Flushing Meadow in September (US Open). He seems to like the hard courts. However, he did win two grass tournaments in 2001. Wimbledon maybe, but I think not.
Gary, Australia

Martina Hingis is technically the greatest woman ever to pick up a tennis racket. She sometimes struggles against the big-hitters (Capriati, Williams) but dominates every other player in the game and hopefully her good form this week can help her dominate the tennis world once again.
David F, England

Jennifer's endurance and power ultimately wore down Hingis - so well done to the deserved champ! However, in terms of skill, ability and craft, Martina will always be the most brilliant player to watch.

She has more awareness and talent than about any one else in tennis. I can see her remaining at the top and challenging for years to come.
David Blount, England

Safin is a sure shot winner, he is unstoppable, he is one to watch out for: great personality, terrific game and cute money is on Safin.
Medha Parashar, India

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