So many feel-good moments arrived during this year's Australian Open, dubbed the Happy Slam by many. Consider the return of Venus Williams to the role of title contender, the ascent of Madison Keys to the same top-flight status, and the streaks of futility that were snapped, including Tomas Berdych's 17-loss run against Rafael Nadal and Andreas Seppi's 10-match losing skid when facing Roger Federer. What heartening matches for the likes of Berdych and Seppi fans. And what an event for Aussie fans themselves, who saw Nick Kyrgios lift up the weight of the hype surrounding him.
We're counting down the all-but-indisputable fantastic moments from this first major of 2015 here:
1. First, finalist Andy Murray did more for feminism in a brief on-court interview with Jim Courier than many do in their entire lives:
2. Women's doubles winner Bethanie Mattek-Sands let fly a fantastic airborne celebration:
3. Serena Williams had an unintentionally hilarious response to sister Venus Williams not challenging a line call adequately (in her estimation).
4. A ballboy got—well, it has something to do with the name—but "perpetrator" Feliciano Lopez was a quintessential gentleman in coming to his aid.
5. Romanian tennis great Ilie Nastase did a deft job of perpetuating his playboy image, perhaps cemented for all of time, when asked about compatriot Simona Halep:
"I didn’t have a coach," Nastase said. "I had beautiful girlfriends I was looking at. I was playing for them."
Way to make it about you, Nasty.
6. George the golden retriever is either a big-time Maria Sharapova supporter or (like most dogs) easily distracted by bouncing stimuli:
7. A ballkid adjusted Rafael Nadal's water bottles in the midst of the Spaniard's match victory against Kevin Anderson. Hundreds of hyper-aware fans in the arena immediately chuckled:
8. Novak Djokovic made the most of destroying a racquet in turning around his play and reminding everyone that he's far-and-away the best male player in tennis:
9. Before making a mini-run at the event, Victoria Azarenka openly asked for opinions about her on-court fashion. (Note to Vika: Your monochromatic tennis-ball–colored look was sick—and not in a good way.)
10. Tim Smyczek handled considerable and understandable nerves in battling Rafael Nadal to the end of a marathon match Down Under. He also revealed himself as the Sportsman of the Tournament. The final score: 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5. Down 6-5, 30-0, in the final set, Tim Smyczek allowed Nadal a first serve after an onlooker in the crowd barked out loud during Nadal's errant try. "Not enough people will do something like this at 6-5 in the fifth," Nadal said on afterward court. See how it went down here:
11. There's every reason to tune in for Grand Slam mixed-doubles play, especially when Leander Paes and Martina Hingis are on the court. Exhibit A, probably the best mixed-dubs point I've ever seen:
What were your own favorite 2015 Aussie Open moments?
Got a tip or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter at @jonscott9.