The start of a new year always means turning your eyes to Australia for tennis fans. The first major of the year opens a new season with renewed hopes for everyone within the circuit. From January 20 to February 2, Melbourne is ready to receive the best tennis players in the world.
Serbian Novak Djokovic made his Grand Slam breakthrough at Melbourne Park as a 20-year-old, disrupting the dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the game. The former world no. 1 has won a record seven Australian Open titles and he wants to defend last year's title.
In the 2019 edition, he defeated qualifier Mitchell Krueger, 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 25th seed Denis Shapovalov, 15th seed Daniil Medvedev, 8th seed Kei Nishikori, and 28th seed Lucas Pouille to reach the final, in which he beat 2nd seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets to win his 15th Grand Slam and a record 7th Australian Open.
"I've had an amazing 10 years in Australia going back to the first grand slam I won in Melbourne in 2008. Ever since then it has been a love affair. It's great to be back. It's been a while since I was last here in Brisbane.
I can't wait for the inaugural ATP Cup event this year. Australia always puts on a great show for tennis during January. Any tennis event is successful in Australia and I'm sure the ATP Cup will be a blast. I'm inviting all the nations to come out and support us, especially the Serbian community" - said Nole before the start of the new ATP Cup.
Despite a fairly similar surface, the 16-time Slam champion didn't shine so much at the US Open. He won three titles in Flushing Meadows, but he lost five finals and was never loved too much by the New York crowd. In the latest edition, Nole was whistled after deciding to retire due to a shoulder injury during his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka.
In 2008, stoked by quotes from Andy Roddick about his onetime penchant for injuries and retirements, Djokovic lashed out during the on-court interview after beating Roddick in the US Open quarterfinals. “You know, Andy was saying I have 16 injuries in the last match,” Djokovic said defiantly.
“Obviously, I don’t — right?” Boos rained down from spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic probably doesn't reach 100% at the US Open, while in Melbourne he is always at the top after a long and accurate off-season.