The first Major of the season in Melbourne is just around the corner, with the main draw action kicking off on January 20. The women's section is wide open and there are a couple of favorites for the men's title as well, led by top-3 stars and the most promising youngsters who are chasing them.
In 2019, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were able to defend their positions and close the season on a high note, claiming all four Majors and five out of nine Masters 1000 crowns. On the other hand, the younger generation took three Masters 1000 titles and the ATP Finals for the second year in a row, conquered by Stefanos Tsitsipas, one of the most serious candidates to replace the 'big 3' on the throne.
Speaking about the rivals who can go all the way in Melbourne, Roger mentioned Tsitsipas as the one to keep an eye on, especially after that success in London on the ATP Finals debut. Federer and Tsitsipas embraced four duels on the Tour in 2019 (with another withdrawal as well) and the first came at the Australian Open back in January, with the young Greek prevailing in four tight sets in the fourth round to dethrone the champion.
Roger got his revenge in the final in Dubai in March, scoring a 6-4, 6-4 win to celebrate the milestone 100th ATP title. The Swiss wasn't ready to challenge Tsitsipas in the quarter-final in Rome, setting the next clash in the semi-final in Basel that the home star won by the identical score like in Dubai.
Stefanos bounced back at the ATP Finals, beating Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 en route to the title ahead of the potential quarter-final meeting at the Australian Open if the draw puts them together. "Winning the ATP Finals was a big deal for Tsitsipas; I'm sure that was a huge step forward after he also beat me here in Melbourne last year," Federer said.