Serena Williams delivered a stellar display at the Auckland Open, saying she was "in the zone" in a thrashing of Amanda Anisimova on Saturday.

Williams needed just 44 minutes to crush 18-year-old Anisimova 6-1 6-1 in the semi-finals of the WTA International event.

The 23-time grand slam champion was in fine form in the lead up to the Australian Open, producing 17 winners and six unforced errors to move into the final against Jessica Pegula.

"I was definitely in the zone today. It was just one of those days," Williams said during an on-court interview.

"I knew I was playing a really, really great player and an even better person so I knew I had to come out serious."

Williams added: "It feels good. I've been working really hard for a couple of years.

"My daughter is only two, I tend to be really hard on myself, but considering everything I'm doing pretty good."

Williams moved into a 98th WTA Tour final and will be aiming for a 73rd title and first since the 2017 Australian Open.

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki teamed up to reach the Auckland Classic doubles final after making the final four in the singles, while Naomi Osaka will challenge Karolina Pliskova for the number two ranking in Brisbane.

Williams and Wozniacki, playing as a pair for the first time, beat the top seeds in the quarter-finals and saved five set points in their opening set against Kirsten Flipkens and Alison Van Uytvanck before sealing a 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 victory to advance to the final.

They will play the winners of Saturday's all-American clash that sees Coco Gauff and Caty McNally take on Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend.

Earlier on Friday, Williams came from a break down in the second set to beat Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-3 and book an exciting semi-final against Amanda Anisimova, a 6-2 3-6 6-4 winner against wildcard Eugenie Bouchard.

Asked if she felt in good shape ahead of the Australian Open, Williams said: "I definitely feel that, and I feel like my match yesterday [against Christina McHale] was great.

"It's great that I went three sets, and it's great that I ran so much. I came out today just overall feeling better and doing better.

"Especially the match fitness – I'm super fit, but match fitness is a little different, so I think all these matches are really helping."

Wozniacki will face Jessica Pegula, who progressed when Alize Cornet retired at 6-0 3-2 down, after a routine 6-1 6-4 victory over defending champion Julia Goerges.

Osaka can improve her seeding ahead of the Australian Open if she makes the final at the Brisbane International, and standing in her way is her direct rival in world number two Pliskova.

Two-time major winner Osaka – ranked fourth in the world – had to fend off five break points to close out a 6-3 3-6 6-3 triumph over Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals.

Reigning champion Pliskova lies in wait in the last four, though she had to stave off two set points in the first before winning 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 against Alison Riske. Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys will contest the other semi-final.

Garbine Muguruza was unable to kick off 2020 with a final appearance as she lost 6-4 6-3 to Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open.

Elena Rybakina, who beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 7-5, stands between Alexandrova and a first singles title on the WTA Tour.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka each came from a set down as they geared up their respective Australian Open preparations at the Auckland Classic and the Brisbane International.

Williams needed two hours to overcome compatriot Christina McHale 3-6 6-2 6-3 amid blustery conditions, dropping four of the first five games before hitting her stride.

"I got myself in a hole and I was able to get out of it, so that was satisfying," said Williams, who will face Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals after the experienced German similarly beat Coco Gauff in three sets.

"I just got mad, and honestly, I said that I wanted to win more than one match here in New Zealand. I thought about that and sometimes it's the craziest things that get you motivated." 

Caroline Wozniacki, who is into the doubles semi-finals as Williams' partner in Auckland, came through a topsy-turvy encounter to beat Lauren Davis 6-1 4-6 6-4.

A dominant opening set from Wozniacki, where Davis was unable to hold serve, was not indicative of the absorbing back-and-forth that followed.

"I got a little lucky in the end and it could have gone both ways," the 29-year-old, who will retire after Melbourne, said.

Julia Goerges is up next for Wozniacki and enjoyed a more straightforward 6-3 6-2 win over Jil Teichmann.

World number one Ash Barty's first singles match of 2020 ended with American qualifier Jennifer Brady prevailing 6-4 7-6 (7-4) at the Brisbane International, where Osaka was facing a similar fate after dropping a tie-break in the opener of her match against Sofia Kenin.

The defending Australian Open champion stormed back to take the contest 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-1 and will face Kiki Bertens – a 6-3 2-6 7-5 winner over Anett Kontaveit.

Petra Kvitova made light work of Liudmila Samsonova, dropping only five games in a straight-sets victory, while number two seed Karolina Pliskova sowed more disappointment for the home crowd by beating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 to set up a quarter-final against Alison Riske.

Pliskova's twin Kristyna rounded out the quarter-final action at the Shenzhen Open with a 6-4 6-4 win against Kateryna Bondarenko.

She will face Elena Rybakina, who beat third seed Elise Mertens 6-4 4-6 6-2, while Garbine Muguruza and Ekaterina Alexandrova came through three-setters against Zarina Diyas and Wang Qiang respectively to reach the other semi-final.

World number one and top seed Ashleigh Barty said she is unfazed after her Australian Open preparations were dealt a blow following a shock Brisbane International elimination.

Playing her first singles match of 2020, French Open champion Barty was toppled 6-4 7-6 (7-4) by American qualifier Jennifer Brady in the last 16 on Thursday.

All eyes were on Barty with the Australian Open on the horizon, however, she was surprisingly dispatched in one hour, 31 minutes on Patrick Rafter Arena.

Expectations are high as Barty enters her home grand slam – which gets underway in Melbourne on January 20 – as the WTA's top-ranked player but the 23-year-old played down the pressure.

"Oh, I think that's all come you from you guys [media], if I'm being completely honest," Australian star Barty said of the pressure.

"It doesn't change the way that I practice. It doesn't change the way that my team and I prepare. It doesn't change me as a person.

"I think that you guys enjoy the fact that you get something to write about and you have something to talk about.

"Hopefully I make it interesting for you, but I don't look at it beyond that."

It was a difficult day for Barty, who struck 25 winners but 16 unforced errors and could not manage a break point on Brady's serve throughout.

"Of course I would love to go further. And I think, in my point of view, there's no more expectation from however many thousand people were out there today to when I play anywhere else around the world," said Barty as she turns her attention to next week's Adelaide International.

"I think I'm just trying to do the best that I can and obviously try and put my best foot forward and try and play my best tennis, because I know that they have obviously come to see quality tennis regardless of who is on the court.

"They have taken the time out of their day to come and watch some quality tennis. And I know that Jen and I played a quality match today, regardless of the result. And I think now I look forward to kind of doubles here and then maybe going to Adelaide."

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are making the most of the time they have left together on the women's tennis tour - moving two wins away from landing a trophy together.

American superstar Williams and Denmark's former Australian Open champion Wozniacki have been firm friends for a long time, often spending time together away from the circuit.

But Wozniacki is just weeks away from retirement, so there was no time like the present for the pair to team up in doubles for the first time, and almost certainly the last.

And at the Auckland Classic, the crowd-pleasing Williams-Wozniacki partnership could be destined for silverware after a thumping 6-2 6-1 victory over top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Johanna Larsson took them through to the semi-finals.

"I'm happy to have my second win in 10 years in doubles! But I've got the best partner," Wozniacki said in an on-court interview.

Williams returned the compliment, saying, according to the New Zealand Herald: "We are having a blast. I'm having a blast. [She is] the most fun partner. It's great."

Former singles world number one Wozniacki has barely played doubles in the past decade, and had not won a tour match in the format since a rare outing alongside Malou Ejdesgaard at the 2011 Danish Open.

Williams, however, brings all the credentials in the world. When Williams plays doubles, invariably she is in it to win it.

She and sister Venus have a 100% record in the grand slam doubles finals they have reached as a team, landing 14 of those major titles together, while they also have picked up three Olympic titles.

Indeed, the last time Serena reached a women's doubles final but fell short was way back in 1999, when she and Venus were runners-up at the Southern California Open.

Wozniacki bows out of tennis after the Australian Open, having decided at the age of 29 the time has come to explore what else life has to offer.

She and Williams, who beat Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya in round one, face a wait to learn who their last-four opponents will be.

But lurking on the other side of the draw, also into the semi-finals, are a pair who should play a big part in the future of women's tennis: American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

Gauff, 15, and McNally, 18, saw off the second seeds - Lara Arruabarrena and Renata Voracova - in their opening match and followed up by brushing aside Australians Jessica Moore and Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-2.

Eugenie Bouchard served up a reminder of the ability that briefly looked set to make her a tennis superstar by powering through to the Auckland Classic quarter-finals.

The Canadian was a Wimbledon finalist six years ago and looked to have the world at her feet, only for results to drastically tail off.

She endured a wretched 13-match losing streak last season and began this week's tournament in New Zealand as the world number 262, having once been as high as fifth.

But there is still time for 25-year-old Bouchard to turn around her faltering tennis career, and a 6-4 6-4 victory over French eighth seed Caroline Garcia was an eye-catching result.

She and Garcia clattered a host of sparkling winners but each set ended the same way, with former world number four Garcia sending backhand service returns too long.

Playing on a wildcard invitation, Bouchard will next face American Amanda Anisimova, an 18-year-old who has shot up to 25th in the WTA rankings.

Anisimova saw off Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-4 to reach the last eight, teeing up a first meeting with Bouchard.

"Definitely she's playing well," Anisimova said of Bouchard. "It should be exciting to play another new player."

Alize Cornet and Jessica Pegula also won through to the last eight in Auckland.

Spain's former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza battled through to the Shenzhen Open quarter-finals, beating American Shelby Rogers 6-1 7-6 (7-2) to set up a shot at Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas.

Seeds Wang Qiang and Ekaterina Alexandrova also advanced, and will go head to head on Thursday for a semi-final ticket.

Wednesday was a dominant day for the American contingent at the Brisbane International, with Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Alison Riske all scoring straight-sets wins.

Keys beat Australian Samantha Stosur 7-5 6-3, Collins landed a crushing 6-1 6-0 victory over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, and Riske scored a 6-3 6-4 success against Czech Barbora Strycova.

Former champion Maria Sharapova has been given a wildcard into the Australian Open.

Sharapova, 32, endured an injury-hit 2019, playing just 15 singles matches – winning eight – and slipping to 147th in the rankings.

The Russian suffered a first-round loss at the Brisbane International on Tuesday, but will take her place at Melbourne Park.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed on Wednesday that the 2008 champion would be given a chance at the year's first grand slam.

"We will give Maria Sharapova a wildcard," he told a news conference.

Sharapova has struggled to find her best form since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in 2017.

The five-time grand slam champion has reached the quarter-finals of a major just once in her past eight attempts, including making a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open last year.

Serena Williams described her victorious comeback as "solid" after she beat Camila Giorgi in straight sets at the Auckland Classic in her first match since the US Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion had taken a break after losing to Bianca Andreescu at Flushing Meadows.

Having warmed up with a doubles win alongside Caroline Wozniacki on Monday, Williams was back in singles action on Tuesday and cruised past Giorgi 6-3 6-2 in a little over another hour.

"I thought it was solid, technically my second match of the year," she said.

"Spent a long time off from tournament play, match play, so solid is pretty good. It's a great start to build on.

"It's definitely not easy [to get the rhythm back]. It's always hard to play a match early in the season."

Williams will face Christina McHale next and could meet 15-year-old Coco Gauff for the first time in the quarter-finals.

Her doubles partner Wozniacki, who will retire after the Australian Open, also progressed having dropped just one game against Paige Mary Hourigan.

Former world number one and defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka had more difficulties in beating Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 at the Brisbane International.

Sakkari had the momentum in the decider when she forged an early break, yet Osaka fought back and converted her second match point after double faulting with her first.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens, who, like Osaka, started the new season ranked in the world's top 10, also advanced in three sets with respective wins against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dayana Yastremska, while Jennifer Brady came from a set down to oust Maria Sharapova.

Belinda Bencic was eliminated at the Shenzhen Open, though, the world number eight and top seed beaten 3-6 6-3 6-3 by Anna Blinkova.

Defending champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka was also knocked out as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Kristyna Pliskova.

Coco Gauff won her first match of the 2020 WTA Tour season in little over an hour at the Auckland Classic, while Serena Williams' singles bow was delayed.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff - a breakout star in 2019 - is in the same quarter of the draw as 23-time grand slam champion Williams, meaning the pair could meet in the last eight.

Gauff has never faced Serena but stunned her sister Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year.

The teenager took a step towards a first clash with the 38-year-old as she saw off Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 6-1 in the first round on Monday.

"I felt confident, I feel like I'm moving well," Gauff said, with Laura Siegemund or Alison Van Uytvanck up next. "I had a good off-season, and I think that's showing in my matches."

Williams was not in singles action for the first time this year, however, as opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew, meaning the American must instead play Camila Giorgi on Tuesday.

The WTA great was still able to thrill the Auckland crowd, as she joined the soon-to-retire Caroline Wozniacki in the doubles, beating Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-2 6-4.

"I had a blast," Williams said. "It's so good to play with her - it's like a dream come true."

Wozniacki, who is calling time on her career at the Australian Open, added: "It's amazing to be able to share the court with Serena."

Elsewhere in the singles, Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to beat Taylor Townsend, while Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, Tamara Zidansek, Jil Teichmann and Jessica Pegula all also advanced.

There were upsets at the Brisbane International, meanwhile, as Danielle Collins crushed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1.

Home hopeful Sam Stosur got the better of fellow former major winner Angelique Kerber, recovering in a tough first set to claim consecutive tie-breaks.

"This is the way I want to be all the time on court," Stosur said. "I put more pressure on myself than anyone could ever do."

Ajla Tomljanovic came through three sets, as did Barbora Strycova against Johanna Konta, with Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske also winning.

Aryna Sabalenka cruised through in Shenzhen, while Garbine Muguruza was made to work for victory against Wang Xinyu.

Wang Qiang and Elena Rybakina ensured all four seeds in action on Monday made it into the second round.

Novak Djokovic matched Maria Sharapova's donation of $25,000 to help those affected by bushfires in Australia.

Bushfires have ravaged large parts of the country in recent months, with New South Wales and Victoria hugely impacted.

Sportspeople have rallied to raise funds for victims and Sharapova and Djokovic offered their help as the duo prepare for the upcoming Australian Open.

"The month of January in Australia has been my [home emoji] for the past 15 years," Sharapova wrote on Twitter.

"Watching the fires destroy the lands, its beautiful families and communities of animals is deeply [heartbreak emoji].

"I would like to begin my donation at 25K. @DjokerNole, would you match my donation? #letsallcometogether."

Djokovic responded on Monday, writing: "Yes, @MariaSharapova I would like to match your $25k donation to double the aid sent to these communities. We stand by you, #Australia."

World number two Djokovic will be aiming for an eighth Australian Open title and 17th major when the grand slam starts on January 20 in Melbourne.

Serena Williams said she is eyeing the record for most grand slam women's singles titles at the Australian Open amid the former world number one's drought.

Williams remains one trophy behind Margaret Court at the top of the all-time list – the 23-time major champion without a slam crown since the 2017 Australian Open.

The 38-year-old Williams lost two major finals last year – Wimbledon and the US Open – having also finished runner-up at the All England Club and Flushing Meadows in 2018.

As Williams targets a record-equalling 24th slam success, the American superstar told reporters: "It's meant a lot to me for a while and now it is just about getting over that one hump.

"I'm almost there, and I'm confident that I'll get there."

Williams is preparing for the Australian Open, which gets underway on January 20, with a trip to New Zealand for the Auckland Open.

The veteran has not played since her US Open final loss to Bianca Andreescu in New York in September.

"It was tough for me," Williams said. "I really felt like I was close but I didn't really show up in those matches.

"So I have to figure out a better way to compete in those."

Elise Mertens became the first WTA Tour main-draw winner of 2020 by easing past Lesia Tsurenko in the first round of the Shenzhen Open on Sunday.

Third seed Mertens dropped serve in the opening game but instantly recovered and went on to claim a 6-3 6-3 victory over Tsurenko, who was playing her first match back from four months out with an elbow injury.

Next up for the Belgian will be wildcard Wang Xiyu, who came from a set down to beat Sorana Cirstea 3-6 6-1 6-1.

Seeds Ekaterina Alexandrova (5) and Zhang Shuai (8) advanced in straight sets, with Kateryna Bondarenko and Wang Yafan the other winners.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

Novak Djokovic led the way in a decade of dominance in men's tennis but it was a very different story in the women's game, as 20 different players claimed grand slam titles.

Djokovic won all but one of his 16 majors in the previous 10 years, with Rafael Nadal adding 13 to his tally to move just one adrift of Roger Federer's record haul of 20.

Only six men were grand slam champions in the past decade; Federer on five occasions, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray securing three apiece and Marin Cilic winning the 2014 US Open.

It has been much more difficult to predict which women will land the big prizes in the game, summed up by the fact there were four different winners in 2019.

Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu claimed maiden major titles, while Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep won their second to prevent Serena Williams from matching Margaret Court's record total of 24.

We look back at how the leading lights have measured up in the 2010s and take a glimpse at what might unfold in the next 10 years.

 

RAFA CLOSING IN, SWEET 16 FOR DJOKOVIC

Nadal won three of the four majors in 2010 and added another two this year, further trimming Federer's advantage.

World number one Nadal only failed to win the French Open twice in the decade, while Djokovic was a six-time Australian Open champion and scooped a quintet of Wimbledon crowns.

Federer has been stuck on 20 grand slam triumphs since going back-to-back in Australia in 2018, with the most recent seven won by either Djokovic or Nadal.

Not since Wawrinka's success at Flushing Meadows in 2016 has a player other than Nadal, Djokovic or Federer won a men's grand slam singles title. 

 

SERENA WINS A DOZEN, BUT SHORT OF COURT

Williams confirmed her status as one of the all-time greats by winning a further 12 major singles titles since the turn of the decade.

The 38-year-old has remained on 23 since defeating her sister, Venus, when she was pregnant in the 2017 Australian Open final.

Williams has lost all four major finals since the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia, including the past two against Halep and Andreescu at Wimbledon and in New York respectively.

Angelique Kerber claimed three grand slams in the 2010s, while Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Osaka won two apiece.

 

ONUS ON NEXT GEN MEN TO STEP UP

While there had been concerns over what was to come with so many legends heading towards, or already in, the twilight of their careers, exciting talent has emerged in both the men

While there were concerns over what was to come with so many legends heading towards, or already in, the twilight of their careers, exciting talent has emerged in both the men's and women's game.  

Canadian teenager Andreescu capped a breakthrough season by winning the US Open, while world number one Barty is only 23 and the likes of Halep still have plenty of time on their side.

With Federer aged 38, Nadal 33, Djokovic 32 and Murray - hoping to work his way back up the rankings after recovering from hip surgery - also in his 30s, there will be a changing of the guard in the next decade.

Stefanos Tsitsipas gave another example of his huge potential by winning the ATP Finals title, while Dominic Thiem has been beaten by Nadal in the past two French Open finals.

Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will also be hoping to come of age in the 2020s.

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has delayed the start of her season by withdrawing from the Auckland Open.

Andreescu was due to take part in the WTA Tour event, which runs from January 6-12, alongside a strong field that includes Serena Williams and Coco Gauff.

But the Canadian will instead take further time to recuperate from the knee injury she sustained at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen in October, with ensuring full fitness for the upcoming Australian Open a likely factor in her decision.

Andreescu, the world number five, released a video on social media expressing her sorrow at having to withdraw from an event she was runner-up in at the start of this year.

"I'm super disappointed about it," the 19-year-old said.

"But I spoke to my team and I really have to do what's best for my knee right now. 

"I have so many amazing memories there, so hopefully I can create more in 2021."

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