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As a passionate nation that adores sport in all of its forms, Aussies do tend to derive a great part of their national identity from the professional athletes they love to watch, cheer for and support and they love to bet on sports of all kinds. Backing a professional athlete from Australia means watching them on their endless pursuit of perfection and stellar results during every competition they attend. In spite of its relatively small population compared to its surface area, the land Down Under does come with more than a fair share of superstars in different fields of sports. Their success, popularity and remarkable results are not only known and appreciated at a domestic level; many of them have crossed the borders of Australia and are international sports superstars. If you are eager to learn who made it onto the list of Australian sportspeople 2021, you’ve reached the right page.
Whether we are talking about fresh stars that have caught the eye and attention of international selectors, vets who are still proving they have got what it takes to make big crowds burst into cheers or young athletes that have already managed to make a name for themselves, this list has it all.
Ash took a rather peculiar road to success, with a trajectory that not many popular Australian sportsmen are known to have taken. She decided to hit the pause button and stop playing tennis at a professional level back in 2014. She claimed she needed to recharge her batteries. However, to many people’s surprise, instead of becoming a couch potato, skipping her workouts and indulging in long hours of fun pokies online, the passionate athlete decided she would do something else. Apparently, she loves sports too much and she simply couldn’t stay away from it for too long, so she embraced the game of cricket for a short while. When she was ready to go back to her old love, tennis, her performance was out of this world. She managed to win 57 of the 70 matches she played in 2019, and she also took home four titles, a Women’s Tennis Association Final title and a Grand Slam title included.
This propelled her so high up in the charts that she was named the first Australian woman to reach Number 1 world status since Evonne Goolagong had won the title more than four decades ago. Her singles Grand Slam record since 2019 has been stunning, as she won her maiden success at the French Open in 2019. She added further success in 2021 by winning the biggest Grand Slam title of them all at Wimbledon. Her season was capped off with a bronze in the mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics.
This is another young athlete with a well-deserved spot in the Australian sportsmen 2020 top list. Nick seems to be ready to win a Grand Slam title and stop the “holy trio” that has dominated the world of professional tennis in the last years. We are, of course, talking about the walking and breathing legends Nadal, Federer and Djokovic.
So far, Nick has managed to build himself quite a career in tennis and the fact that he is only 26 years old and looking more determined as ever is getting his closer to his dreams. He was the youngest tennis player that had ever held a position in the ATP rankings and also the player who beat all of the pros in the “holy trio”, Nick is most certainly the best tennis player that the country has seen in a long time and we are looking forward to seeing him shine again once more. However, following his return from a hiatus, he has failed to make it past the third round of a Grand Slam.
Daly Cherry-Evans is not only the captain of Queensland, but he also manages the domestic side and therefore makes for a superstar halfback who definitely deserves to make it onto the list. His continuous performances helped him win the Grand Final back in 2011 and almost helped Manly partake in yet another final in 2019. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but we bet the odds on that happening soon. We can expect him to return with fresh forces, more motivation than ever, brand new skills and an even bigger hunger for success when the season resumes.
In June 2019, Kerr managed to do the impossible and carry the magnificent goals of the nation of her strong shoulders. She is not only the captain of the Matildas but also their shiniest star. She has and managed to lead the amazing FIFA Women’s World Cup during the 2019 campaign, letting the world know about the land Down Under when she scored no less than four goals against the Jamaican team. She was also called the Most Valuable Player part of the W-League and her undisturbed ambition, dedication, perseveration and pursuit for being the best have helped her turn into one of the greatest advocates for equality in the field of sport. She is one of the most popular international sportspeople originating from Australia and is now playing her soccer in the Women’s Super League with Chelsea. To date, she has scored 43 goals in 57 games for the Blues, and has helped the club to win two WSL titles, two Women’s League Cups, and the Community Shield in 2020.
Oscar Piastri will be a star that we will be hearing a lot more from in 2022, as he takes his first steps into the world of F1. It was recently announced that the Aussie will be the reserve driver for the Alpine team from next season. The 20-year-old is one of the most respected young drivers in motorsport, and is the reigning FIA Formula 3 world champion. He has recorded success throughout his career, as he also won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019. He could be set to achieve more success before the end of the season, as he is the current leader in the Drivers’ Championship in Formula 2, ahead of next season’s Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou. If he manages to achieve that feat, he will follow in the footsteps of George Russell and Charles Leclerc, who both won F3 titles before winning the F2 title in the following season.
We can expect to see Piastri make his F1 debut following next season, as Fernando Alonso’s contract with the team expires. He will be looking to gain the necessary understanding of everything to do with F1 next season, before stepping into the hot seat when it’s his time to shine for Alpine. He has certainly proven himself this season, with three wins from 17 starts in F2, as well as recording seven podium finishes and four fastest laps.
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