Can Novak Djokovic make it 10?

Australian Open Tennis, featured, Tennis

The first grand slam of the calendar year commences at Melbourne Park on Monday in what should produce some high-quality moments once again.

Despite the field for both the men and women looking a little weaker due to many absentees mainly through injury, many of the top seeds and favourites remain.

Recent speculation has suggested that Melbourne could risk losing the hosting rights to overseas competitors, so tournament organisers will be eager to ensure that the best spectacle is showcased.

As always, there are plenty of potential storylines and possible matches that will captivate tennis fans around the world.

Let’s try to predict and analyse both sides of the draw.

Men’s draw

Champion: Novak Djokovic

The Serbian is seeking an incredible 10th title at the Australian Open and the 35-year-old will do just that. 

Since the beginning of Wimbledon, he has won 30 of his past 31 matches, reaching six finals and winning five. After a rough start to 2022 which saw him dramatically deported from Australia, Djokovic has embraced the country once again since landing down under and has a point to prove.

With Nadal not finding form yet and his Spaniard compatriot Carlos Alcaraz ruled out through injury, it represents as a massive opportunity for Novak to add another grand slam title to his name.

Runner-up: Daniil Medvedev

The 2022 Australian Open runner-up is also regaining the form that once saw him as the heir to the ‘big three’ with consistent performances of late.

His section of the draw includes current champion Rafael Nadal which Medvedev will look to seek revenge for last year.

Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning the US Open

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dark horse: Taylor Fritz

A breakout in 2022 saw the American win his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells and he has backed it up with some dominant performances of late.

Fritz is placed in the bottom section of the draw which includes No.2 seed Casper Ruud, who hasn’t looked himself recently, as well as Italian Matteo Berrettini who Fritz beat only last week in the United Cup final.

Expect him to make a deep run. 

Shock early exit: Cameron Norrie

The 11th seed comes into the tournament in red-hot form after impressive wins at the United Cup as well as reaching the final of the ASB Classic in New Zealand. 

The Brit is the UK’s new No.1 hope after the recent decline of Andy Murray, but I see him bowing out early by the third round with either Borna Coric or Jiri Lehcheka to cause an upset.

Women’s draw

Champion: Iga Światek

Slowly but surely, Iga’s game is being picked apart and found out by a few of the top players, with the most recent being Jessica Pegula as she shocked the world No.1 at the United Cup 6-2 6-2.

On her day though, the Pole is still the woman to beat for the trophy come the end of January and I don’t see too many competitors being able to step in her way, especially with the withdrawals of Naomi Osaka and Paula Badosa who can match her for power. 

Runner-up: Belinda Bencic

This may come as a shock to some, but Bencic is hitting her peak at the perfect time for the Australian Open as she recently won the Adelaide International 2 title.

It feels like the 25-year-old has been around the tour for an eternity now, starting professionally from a young age. Her consistency has let her down in recent times which has been frustrating for Swiss fans. 

With her side of the draw containing Ons Jabeur, I see Bencic making it all the way to the final in a somewhat of a surprise.

Dark horse: Amanda Anisimova

The American has already impressed so much so far in her short career and has often handled the pressure with incredible maturity. 

Seeded 28th in the draw, there are a lot of people are looking past her which is a huge mistake. 

Shock early exit: Madison Keys

A former US Open runner-up, Keys is one of the most powerful players on tour from the baseline and possesses a deadly serve so crucial in the women’s game. 

However, I was disappointed with her performance at the United Cup. Whenever she was asked questions by her opponent and pushed back in the court, she was intimidated and had no answers.

With a player like Victoria Azarenka likely to be on the other side of the net in the third round, that has danger written all over it.

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