Twelve years after they finished in the top-3 for the first time, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are still the players to beat on the men's Tour, closing 2019 in front of young competitors and proving their class once again at the age of 33, 32 and 38!
Novak and Rafa shared all four Majors and four Masters 1000 titles to stand above all the others, with Federer defending the third position ahead of Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas after winning the title in Miami and three ATP 500 crowns.
Following the semi-final run at Roland Garros, Federer was the finalist at Wimbledon, falling short in that epic clash against Novak Djokovic and proving he is still capable of battling against the main rivals on the big scene.
Arriving in Melbourne early, Roger has been preparing for the first Major of the new season, seeking the third Australian Open crown in the last four years after an early exit in 2019 when Stefanos Tsitsipas toppled him after a brilliant fight.
Federer had opted to skip the ATP Cup and stay on the practice court ahead of Melbourne, although he found time to watch a little bit of action from Sydney on Sunday, with Novak Djokovic defeating Rafael Nadal 7-6, 6-2 in the final to keep Serbia alive ahead of the doubles rubber.
Roger admitted that Nadal and Federer have already reached a high level despite early days of the season, saying it will be tough to beat them at the Australian Open. "I've trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn't have any setbacks, which is crucial," Federer said.
"Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are already showing great signs of form at such an early stage of the season. I was watching a little bit of their ATP Cup match and thought it was a great one. Both guys are always tough to beat when they are injury-free."