Although the 2022 season has already started, it is still unclear whether or not Novak Djokovic will participate in the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam of the year will start on Monday 17 January and one wonders if the world number 1 will fly to Melbourne in the next few days.
After giving up the ATP Cup, the Serbian champion is training on the hard courts of Marbella waiting for his decision to be made known. The 34-year-old from Belgrade has won the AOs nine times, in addition to having imposed himself in the last three editions.
If he were to grab the tenth 'Down Under' trophy, Nole would overtake his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the first time and hoist himself to 21 Majors. Djokovic has just returned from a simply formidable 2021, in which he rewrote the record book for the umpteenth time.
Novak touched the legendary 'Calendar Grand Slam', which would have put an end to any debate related to the greatest ever. As if that weren't enough, he finished the year at the top of the ATP ranking for the seventh time ever (breaking his idol Pete Sampras).
Interviewed by '9News Melbourne', Australian Open director Craig Tiley spoke about Djokovic's situation.
Tiley opens up on Novak Djokovic
"We still got a few chartered flights coming in this week, up until the end of this week.
And then all the players will be here. The status in relation to Novak Djokovic, I think we will have a much clearer picture in the coming days," Tiley said. "Because otherwise it will get pretty late to show up and be able to play the Australian Open."
Looking back at Djokovic’s 2021 season, it can be considered one of the best runs by any player on the ATP tour. The Serbian won three Grand Slam titles and ended his seventh year as the no.1 ranked player. In doing so, Djokovic surpassed idol Pete Sampras, who previously held the record of six year-end no.1 finishes.
Novak ended his season after taking team Serbia to the semi-finals at Davis Cup. The form with which he is in at the moment, it appears Djokovic’s reign will continue on the ATP tour this year irrespective of where he starts his season.
Youngsters like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and others will try to stop Novak Djokovic from scripting more history this season. It is safe to assume that Novak Djokovic is in a race against time to defend his 2021 Australian Open crown.
Djokovic's arch rival Rafael Nadal, who is also bidding for a record-breaking 21st Major, arrived in Melbourne a few days ago after recovering from COVID-19.