Thirty-something stars Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will still be in the limelight during the Australian fortnight.
Its state of form
Winner of the last two titles of the Grand Slam (Wimbledon and US Open), the Serb arrives as a logical favorite in Melbourne where he is at home. Six times crowned in Australia (a record held together with Roy Emerson and Roger Federer), the world number one aims for a third Grand Slam in a row. When it was resumed in Doha, Qatar, two weeks ago, it did not move at its best. The world number one bowing semi-final against Roberto Bautista Agut. Jousted in previous rounds by Marton Fucsovics and Nikoloz Basilashvili, he left a mixed impression. This defeat following his two losses in the final at the end of 2018, in Paris and the Masters. "You also build your strength of character through this kind of defeat, he slipped into Doha, that's how you get to know you better." Bad news for the competition. When Djokovic achieved the double Wimbledon -US Open in 2011 and 2015, the Djoker had imposed itself in stride in Australia ...
The Serb, who faces the 1st round the 40th World Martin Klizan, could find at 2e turn a certain Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, fell to the 177th world after his year 2018 amputated by the wounds. In the quarterfinals, Kei Nishikori is the theoretical opponent of Djokovic and, in the semifinal Alexander Zverev, before a possible shock in the final against Roger Federer ...
Its state of form
In the dark. Rafael Nadal has not played in official competition for five months. The Spaniard still appears short of fitness at the beginning of the season. Victim of a muscle injury left quadriceps in Abu Dhabi, he had thrown in the towel in Brisbane, the day before his entry against Tsonga. On hard, it is still as hard for the Majorcan who has forfeited or abandoned seventeen times in his eighteen tournaments on this surface! The King of Roland Garros stacks injuries in recent months (the thigh in Melbourne last year, the knee at the US Open, still the thigh at the beginning of the year). He was however reassuring with the press: "I feel good. If it were not the case, I would not be here. I have experience, it's not new to me, I know I can play well even with a lack of rhythm "The Australian Open remains its least successful Grand Slam tournament. He did it only once, ten years ago.
The Spaniard inherited a rather favorable draw but could face three Australians in his first three rounds: James Duckworth, then Matthew Ebden and then the great hope Aussie Alex de Minaur for a shock of 3e tower. If all goes well the Majorcan could find his best enemy Roger Federer in the semifinals.
Its state of form
The world number 3 has chosen the Hopman Cup, to begin its season. Titled for the third consecutive time in this mixed team competition, he remained undefeated in singles in Perth by winning his four games against Cameron Norrie, Francis Tiafoe and especially Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. All without conceding any set or break. He left his base camp in Dubai December 26 to start the Hopman Cup on December 30. He is already in the right tempo. Which made him say: "I'm happy in a lot of areas: the move, the offensive game, the service, the return. In any case, I know exactly where I am. " The shadow of a doubt, however, hangs over the 37-year-old veteran who showed unusual signs of fragility during the second half of the 2018 season, marked by two major disillusions at Wimbledon and the US Open. This Australian Open will remain as one of his comeback in 2017 after five years without winning a Grand Slam. All after being removed six months from the circuit. Double title holder, Helvetia aims an incredible treble. Exploit directed by Djokovic from 2011 to 2013. The man in 20 Grand Slam titles showed at the last Rolex Paris Masters he could still compete with Djokovic. So…
Switzerland, which begins its tournament against the former 33rd world, the Uzbek Denis Istomin, should know a smooth entry. The sequel could be more full-bodied with a possible shock against Gael Monfils in 3e tower. And tennis lovers are already dreaming of a semi-final against Nadal, before a final against Novak Djokovic.