Novak Djokovic will contend for his second straight Australian Open title when he takes the hard court in Melbourne in late January.
The 16-time grand slam winner has already won the event a record seven times and is a +150 favorite to claim his eighth trophy.
Past success in Melbourne
The 32-year-old Serbian defeated one-time Australian Open champ Rafael Nadal (+350) handily in 2019 and is back in top form in 2020. Last season Djokovic secured two of four grand slam titles (one in Melbourne and one at Wimbledon) and is four grand slams shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20. Nadal sits at 19.
Since 2011 Djokovic has earned six of the past nine Australian Open titles. The No. 2 tennis player in the world already won back to back from 2015-2016 and pulled off a three-peat from 2011-2013.
Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the top seeds at Melbourne Park in 2010 AND in 2019!
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 1, 2020
In the last decade his worst finish at the tournament came in 2017, when he failed to get past 117th-ranked Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan in the second round. In 2018 Djokovic lost in straight sets at the Australian Open (Chung Hyeon defeated him in the fourth round) for the first time since 2007.
Federer, Nadal still a threat
The last player other than Djokovic to triumph in Melbourne is the 38-year-old Federer, a +850 prospect to win the tournament. The six-time Australian Open winner defeated Croatian pro Marin Cilic (+5000) in 2018 and downed Nadal in the final the year prior.
Stan Wawrinka (+5000) and Nadal are the only other men to collect an Australian Open title in the last decade. Wawrinka defeated Nadal in the 2014 final, and the Spanish tennis star knocked off Federer for the championship in 2009.
Chances are at least one of Djokovic, Nadal or Federer will reach the semifinals in 2020, but a few young players could surprise the field.
Up-and-comers capable of an upset
Daniil Medvedev (+800), a 23-year-old from Moscow, notched four singles titles, all on hard court, in 2019 and made it to his first grand slam final at the 2019 U.S. Open. He fell to Nadal in five sets in the championship match but followed up his performance with first-place finishes at the St. Petersburg Open and Shanghai Masters.
Daniil #Medvedev wins the Shanghai Masters title!
A little smirk from the Russian machine at the end as he closes out a 6-4 6-1 victory over Alexander #Zverev.
Performances like this have become a routine.
Fourth title of the season, seventh of his career. pic.twitter.com/J5YhnQTPwi
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) October 13, 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas is another contender at +950 and upset then-two-time defending champion Federer in the fourth round of last year’s Australian Open. The 21-year-old from Greece lost to Nadal in the semifinal round last year but ended the year on a high note as winner of the Nitto ATP Finals, the season-ending event for the highest-ranked singles players on the ATP Tour. In that tournament Tsitsipas fought off Medvedev, Federer and Dominic Thiem (+1400), though he lost to Nadal in the round-robin stage.
The Australian Open is set to take place from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2 in Melbourne and is the first grand slam of the season. The qualifying round will begin Tuesday, Jan. 14, and end Saturday, Jan. 18.