Australian Open Men’s Preview: Can Anyone Stop Novak Djokovic?

by Staff | January 13th, 2024, 6:44 pm
  • 19 Comments

The Top 32 men are all assembled in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the 2024 tennis season. But after another incredible year, can anyone stop Novak Djokovic?

The 36-year-old world No. 1 lost just one match in Grand Slam play all of 2023, and his home away from home in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne where Djokovic has won 28 straight matches, won the title the last four times he’s played and seeks an 11th title there.

The Serb will also bid for a record-breaking 25th career Slam title, breaking the tie he shares with Aussie great Margaret Court.

The top threats come in the form of Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and perhaps Alexander Zverev.

Top seeds are: 1 Novak Djokovic, 2 Carlos Alcaraz, 3 Daniil Medvedev, 4 Jannik Sinner, 5 Andrey Rublev, 6 Alexander Zverev, 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas, 8 Holger Rune, 9 Hubert Hurkacz, 10 Alex De Minaur, 11 Casper Ruud, 12 Taylor Fritz, 13 Grigor Dimitrov, 14 Tommy Paul, 15 Karen Khachanov, 16 Ben Shelton.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC QUARTER
Seeds: 1 Djokovic, 7 Tsitsipas, 12 Fritz, 16 Shelton, 20 Mannarino, 22 Cerundolo, 25 Musetti, 30 Etcheverry
Floaters: Murray, Bautista Agut, Berrettini, Wawrinka, Van Assche, Marozsan, Shevchenko, Cilic, Monfils
Notable openers: Novak Djokovic-Dino Prizmic, Andy Murray-Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Adrian Mannarino-Stan Wawrinka, Roberto Bautista Agut-Ben Shelton, Fabian Marozsan-Marin Cilic, Lorenzo Musetti-Benjamin Bonzi, Matteo Berrettini-Stefanos Tsitsipas
Projected 3R matches: 1 Djokovic – 30 Etcheverry, 20 Mannarino – 16 Shelton, 12 Fritz – 22 Cerundolo, 25 Musetti – 7 Tsitsipas.
Notes: Comfortable draw for the 10-time champion Djokovic who will test his wrist in a Sunday night opener against reigning French Open junior champion Dino Prizmic. Djokovic, though, could get a rematch with Ben Shelton the fourth and see the struggling Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarters in a final rematch from last year. Andy Murray could see Djokovic but will have to get his first win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

JANNIK SINNER QUARTER
Seeds: 4 Sinner, 5 Rublev, 10 De Minaur, 15 Khachanov, 17 Tiafoe, 18 Jarry, 26 Baez, 29 Korda
Floaters: Coric, Eubanks, Wolf
Notable openers: Jannik Sinner-Botic Van De Zandschulp, JJ Wolf-Sebastian Baez, Frances Tiafoe-Borna Coric, Daniel Altmaier-Karen Khachanov, Thiago Seyboth Wild-Andrey Rublev
Projected 3R matches: 4 Sinner – 26 Baez, 17 Tiafoe – 15 Khachanov, 10 De Minaur – 18 Jarry, 29 Korda – 5 Rublev.
Notes: Nice draw for Sinner who after a stellar last few months of 2023 should cruise out to the fourth round to face the Tiafoe-Khachanov winner. The hot-handed De Minaur or Rublev could await in the quarters, though neither has been to a Slam semifinal.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV QUARTER
Seeds: 3 Medvedev, 8 Rune, 9 Hurkacz, 13 Dimitrov, 21 Humbert, 23 Davidovich Fokina, 27 Auger Aliassime, 28 Griekspoor
Floaters: Shapovalov, Djere, Nishioka, Fils, Fucsovics, Ofner, Ruusuvuori, Zhang, Safiullin, Kokkinakis, Thiem
Notable openers: Holger Rune-Yoshihito Nishioka, Grigor Dimitrov-Marton Fucsovics, Felix Auger Aliassime-Dominic Thiem
Projected 3R matches: 8 Rune – 28 Griekspoor, 21 Humbert – 9 Hurkacz, 13 Dimitrov – 23 Davidovich Fokina, 27 Auger Aliassime – 3 Medvedev.
Notes: Without a lead-up event, Medvedev remains the big favorite in the third quarter. The Russian, a 2-time Australian Open finalist, might get Brisbane champion Dimitrov in the fourth and possibly Rune in the quarters, though that 16 is open for business.

CARLOS ALCARAZ QUARTER
Seeds: 6 Zverev, 11 Ruud, 14 Paul, 19 Norrie, 24 Struff, 31 Bublik, 32 Lehecka
Floaters: Evans, Sonego, Kecmanovic, McDonald, Gasquet, Draper, Shang
Notable openers: Alexander Zverev-Dominik Koepfer, Albert Ramos Vinolas-Casper Ruud, Tommy Paul-Gregoire Barrere, Daniel Evans-Lorenzo Sonego, Richard Gasquet-Carlos Alcaraz
Projected 3R matches: 6 Zverev – 32 Lehecka, 19 Norrie – 11 Ruud, 14 Paul – 24 Struff, 31 Bublik – 2 Alcaraz.
Notes: After missing last year, the Spanish sensation Alcaraz is back and listed as the second favorite. The 20-year-old could face a couple guys that have given him trouble in Tommy Paul and Alexander Zverev. Paul, a semifinalist a year ago, has seen his results tail off while Zverev has returned to his top level after serious injury 18 months ago.

The projected quarterfinals:
1 Djokovic – 7 Tsitsipas
4 Sinner – 5 Rublev
8 Rune – 3 Medvedev
6 Zverev – 2 Alcaraz

The projected R16 looks like:
1 Djokovic – 16 Shelton
12 Fritz – 7 Tsitsipas
4 Sinner – 15 Khachanov
10 De Minaur – 5 Rublev
8 Rune – 9 Hurkacz
13 Dimitrov – 3 Medvedev
6 Zverev – 11 Ruud
14 Paul – 2 Alcaraz

Former champions: Djokovic(10), Wawrinka,
Former finalists: Murray(5), Cilic, Tsitsipas, Thiem, Medvedev(2)

Last year, (4) Novak Djokovic defeated (3) Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

LAST 10 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2023 Novak Djokovic d Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6(4) 7-6(5)
2022 Rafael Nadal d Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5
2021 Novak Djokovic d Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-2 6-2
2020 Novak Djokovic d Dominic Thiem 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4
2019 Novak Djokovic d Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 6-3
2018 Roger Federer d Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 3-6 6-1
2017 Roger Federer d Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3
2016 Novak Djokovic d Andy Murray 6-1 7-5 7-6
2015 Novak Djokovic d Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0
2014 Stan Wawrinka d Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3


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19 Comments for Australian Open Men’s Preview: Can Anyone Stop Novak Djokovic?

lylenubbins Says:

The risk for Novak at this point in his 100% mental, for example the crowd will be rooting hard for whoever plays him. He does not like that and at times it costs him matches. Also, the fact that he holds the Slam record that will decrease his motivation to some extent. Maybe something like that comes into play, and the other guy (Carlos, Daniil, Tsitsi) plays out of his mind.


Wog Boy Says:

Actually Nole is not 100% for whatever reason, I don’t really see him as overwhelming favourite if favourite at all. My tip is Sinner, if Nole reaches SF and Sinner beats him I won’t be that unhappy person for Nole losing to him.
It’s a big question if Nole is going to make SF after watching him in Perth and Melbourne, something is off and it is not getting better, his face expression and body language is very telling.

PS
Is TX closing down, it looks like it, we are in the middle of the GS and TX doesn’t have one single thread about matches played, plus it took them three days to open draw thread?


Okiegal Says:

@Lyle…….You are so right. Novak needs to realize that not everyone on planet earth who watches tennis loves him! He got into it with a fan once again during the Popyrin match. Grow up.
I remember one time during a match that Fed got into it with some fans that were annoying him. Guess who??? Novak’s parents. LOL. 😂 He told them to be quiet…. or maybe it was “shut up”??? Not sure, but same difference.


zed Says:

Lyledreaming,

“and at times it costs him matches”

When? When has it cost him a match? You are talking through your arse Lyle.

Novak feeds off their desperation to see him lose :). It makes him angry and makes him play harder and stronger. This is legendary, any tennis fan of any level of knowledge knows this to be true!

Okiegal, see Novak’s interview about “getting into it”. The crap the drunk was calling out was not repeatable due to profanity and Novak invited him to come down and say it to his face. Of course the coward wouldn’t do it and shut up from then on. Gutless!

Personally I think security it too lax. I have been at the AO where a group of teens were being a-holes and security were doing nothing. It took a group of “Dads” to go and sit behind them and tap them on the shoulder each time they tried again. Eventually the little shites stopped.

I will be at the AO this weekend and even though I am a gentle teddy bear I am not backward in coming forward if irritated. I will be stepping in if security are once again asleep on the job.


Wog Boy Says:

Zed,

I don’t think lylenubbins was talking in negative way, he or she generally talks fair and in my opinion has soft spot for Nole, methinks.

As for old lady from Oklahoma that have never left her village, senior citizen should be allowed limited time on internet, for their own good.


zed Says:

In that case, my apologies Lyle.

I still maintain it does not cost Novak matches. I think it hardens him and makes him even more determined to win.

If not for this ability he would have been destroyed a long time ago due to the rabid and psychotic actions of Federer and Nadal fans.


Wog Boy Says:

Zed, agree.

It happens far to often and I witnessed it regularly in RLA with my own eyes, people come purposely to provoke him like that gutsless prick last night who left with the tail between his legs after Nole confronted him, as for the security, they don’t even speak English, how would they know what was said 😂


Alison hodge Says:

Time to teach them a lesson, I’m sure they payed alot of money for their tickets, take a hard stand and have them thrown out, or let the player in question have a Eric Cantona kung fun type moment lol


Okiegal Says:

Hey, XYZ, maybe Boggy will repeat what the fan said. I don’t think he would mind a bit. After all, he is the chat room potty mouth! 😳😳 Oh, and btw, growing old is certainly better than the alternative, me thinks‼️ 🤣🤣


Alison hodge Says:

Hi Okie lovely to see you hear hope your well 😊


zed Says:

Actually OkieGal, I’m far more likely to let expletives flow than WB. I had dinner with he and his family only a few days ago and I can assure you there is no swearing in that family.

I’m a different story, perhaps it’s my humble beginnings, I let the F-bombs flow like water especially when I’m angry.

However, the restriction when typing on these internet sites is auto-blocking of many swear words so even if I knew the exact words that got Novak angry I’m pretty sure I’d be unable to get them posted here.

p.s. I agree that for most of our lives growing old is better than the alternative … up to a point. I do think we eventually get to a point where the alternative isn’t as undesirable when you consider how many things go wrong with our bodies (and all of a sudden) when we hit a certain age.


skeezer Says:

“I don’t really see him as overwhelming favourite if favourite at all.”

This is getting older than old. Every tournament it seems like Djoker fans are saying this.
He knows, as well as everyone else, he is always the odds on Favorite to win.


Wog Boy Says:

Zed thanks, likewise.

We enjoyed everything, your hospitality, food even almost missing Nole’s first match at AO. Next one is on us in Sydney🛫🛬

Cheers


Okiegal Says:

To the person defending Mr. Potty Mouth. You haven’t been on TX nearly as long as I have. Remember, I’m an oldie!! lol. His wife was probably with him and I’m sure he was on his best behavior! I hope he didn’t trip up any old folks!! 😳🤣

Hi Al! I’m doing pretty good for an old person. I can still drive, ride a bicycle and trip the light fantastic!!
🚗🚲💃 But I do refuse to wear 👠 and 🛼‼️ 😜
I hope you are doing good too! 😊😊


Okiegal Says:

I seriously think Novak does want to fight someone…… he always acts so angry. At times he’s mad at his team more than he is at the heckling fans. His eyes tell it all. I just think as a grown man and father and the number one player in the world, he needs to cool his jets. But I will say this, win lose or draw he is always nice at the net to his opponent. His loyal fans will always stand by their guy, just like Rafa/Roger fans stand by them. I think we can all agree on that fact…..end of story!

TXers, enjoy the Aussie Open, even if you don’t have a dog (or a bull) in the fight!! LOL‼️ 😊😊


Alison hodge Says:

Okie it’s my least favourite of the 4 GS to be honest, all the matches are the middle of the night, where I am, and it just reminds me how hot it is there, and a cold it is here lol, roll on spring, having said that there’s been some good matches, loved the Blinkova Rybikana match, I’ve been suffering since new year with bronchitis, hate this time of year, say it again roll on spring lol


Okiegal Says:

That was a great match! The TB was something else! I loved it. I can relate to you regarding the bronchitis thing. I think I’m over it and it comes back. I believe it’s new strains of something that’s mutated from Covid. But we are dealing with the same stuff around here. People can’t seem to get totally well. Nice to hear from you. Sorry you aren’t feeling your best. 😊😊


Alison hodge Says:

Aww thanks Okie, you are a special friend from over the pond, love and hugs Alison xx


Okiegal Says:

Back at cha’ Miss Al‼️🥰


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