Defending Champions Djokovic, Sabalenka Face Teens On Opening Day At Australian Open

by Staff | January 13th, 2024, 7:49 pm

A new Sunday start at the Australian Open welcomes the 2024 Grand Slam tennis season today in Melbourne. And to commemorate this first Sunday, the tournament has slated the two 2023 champions Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka to open play at night on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic, who has won his last 28 matches at the Australian Open, will take on French Open junior champion Dino Prizmic. Sabalenak will face German Ella Siedel. Both are 18 and qualifiers and in for the moment of their lives.

Also on court, Jannik Sinner opens Rod Laver followed by Maria SakkariAndrey RublevMarin Cilic and the top 2 Americans Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe are also on court for the men.

For the men, 2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki is back and she’s joined by Barbora Krejcikova and Laylah Fernandez.

Starts at 12:00 PM
Rod Laver Arena
Jannik Sinner (4) Vs Botic Van de Zandschulp
Maria Sakkari (8) Vs Nao Hibino

Rod Laver Arena
Novak Djokovic (1) Vs Dino Prizmic (Q)
Ella Seidel (Q) Vs Aryna Sabalenka (2)

Starts at 11:00 AM
John Cain Arena
Leylah Annie Fernandez (32) Vs Sara Bejlek (Q)
Dane Sweeny (Q) Vs Francisco Cerundolo (22)
Taylor Fritz (12) Vs Facundo Diaz Acosta

Starts at 12:00 PM
Margaret Court Arena
Mai Hontama (WC) Vs Barbora Krejcikova (9)
Thiago Seyboth Wild Vs Andrey Rublev (5)

Margaret Court Arena
Magda Linette (20) Vs Caroline Wozniacki (WC)
Frances Tiafoe (17) Vs Borna Coric

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15 Comments for Defending Champions Djokovic, Sabalenka Face Teens On Opening Day At Australian Open

Graham Says:

Toilet breaks should be stopped or put a portable loo on the court.

chrisford1 Says:

Rafa, Stan, Andy Murray – all out in the 1st Round.
Age. More easily injured. Lower stamina. Lower healing ability. Happens to them all eventually if they stay at it into their 30s.

Federer cheated old man time for a few years and Djokovic not only cheated time, he had monster career years and is not done! But Novaks downslope is a certainty. Just when is the question. I think he has many more notable victories to come but I’d lay bets with anyone that 2024 will be the last year Novak is going to be the #1 ranked Player. I believe his tailing off starts in 2024 and will be slow and no sudden end..

chrisford1 Says:

OK, I know, Rafa didn’t make it to the 1st Round.
Hope he is well. Novak had a muscle tear and still won the AO, so with healing complete – like when clay season starts – we will see Rafa back.

zed Says:

Yep Chris, we all get old, I’m feeling it myself more and more with each passing day.

I personally think Novak will decide to stop because he wants more time with his kids rather than stopping due to an inability to remain at #1. However, before making such a decision I think he may decide to tie up some loose ends before pulling the pin. Some of these loose ends could be:

1) TRIPLE career golden masters.

Novak is the only man who has won every ATP Masters 1000 tournament at least twice. In fact, if he wins Monte Carlo one more time (April this year) he will have won every ATP Masters 1000 tournament at least three times! TRIPLE career golden masters when no one else has even won the double as he already has done.

But what if this year he wins Madrid (May) & Cincinnati (August) again? Then the only Masters 1000 tournament he won’t have won four times will be Monte Carlo so he’d be driven to play Monte Carlo 2025 for the QUADRUPLE CAREER GOLDEN MASTERS! I will repeat that Roger and Rafa could not even manage the double and Novak can easily win the triple and maybe the quadruple LOL!!!

2) Wimbeldon

Currently Roger has 8 Wimbeldons and Novak has 7. I am sure Novak really wants that 8th Wimbeldon. He just missed out by a Bee’s dick last year and I think he’ll take it this year. After matching Roger at 8 Wimbeldons, I’m pretty sure he’d play in 2025 to get to his 9th, wouldn’t you?

3) Slams

In a week and a half from today if he’s once again the AO champ for the 11th time that will be slam #25. If he takes Wimbeldon to match Roger that will be slam #26. Before that he may take another FO but I’m pretty sure Nadal will be there so that may be tough to do. In any case, I can see another USO this year so slam #27! At that point in time you’d have to be wondering if 30 slams should be achieved before retirement. Tough as it would be to achieve it would be so tantalizingly close.


I’m pretty sure Goran was joking when he said Novak will play in the 2028 Olympics. Novak would turn 41 in 2028 and it would be very, very hard to be still playing at that age. However, the potential achievements I have listed above (Triple or Quadruple Career Golden Masters, 9 Wimbeldons and 30 slams) could all be completed by the end of 2025 when he will be 38 years old. If he achieved all that, a concurrent achievement would be accumulating over 500 weeks at number #1. I’d say he would retire then and there, after the 2025 ATP Finals. There’d be nothing more to play for.

Giles Says:

lol at some of these posts. Where oh where is the Arsehole’s Olympic Gold???

Wog Boy Says:

Greedy Nadull, this is embarrassing:

zed Says:

LOL, Giles showing his sophistication as usual :)

What sort of work do you do Giles? Nuclear physicist? Cardio-vascular surgeon?

I can only imagine the life you lead :)

Alison hodge Says:

I’ve never been one of those blind fans that defend their favourite no matter what, I’m sure Rafa did this with the best of intentions, but what was he thinking, I wouldn’t have touched this with a ten foot barge pole

Wog Boy Says:

“…but what was he thinking….”

The answer is easy:


zed Says:

C’mon guys, Rafa said he is doing this to further tennis in a nation where currently tennis is not a widely played sport. So his intentions are pure and he just wants to expose more people, particularly young people, to the beautiful sport of tennis.

That’s why I am sure that any day now we will see that Rafa is doing the exact same thing in many poverty-stricken African countries, Central American countries like Venezuala, etc.

Even though there is no money for him in this countries he just wants to spread the love of tennis.

Any day now.

Just you wait and see.

Rafa loves all humanity and wants to do good things only.

chrisford1 Says:

Sorry, Zed, but if the Saudis thought they could get a generation of kids inspired by Novak, they would have offered him the job. And he would have taken it. Saudis doing with Nadal what Dubai and other Emirates have done with Roger – take their nation forward in the global age with a sports icon

On Giles – if Olympic gold is the only thing that matters, I guess his tennis GOAT is shuffling and stumbling along – slowly – Andy Murray.

Wog Boy Says:

CF1, you cannot be serious, “taking their nation forward”, nation with sharia laws, where they still cut the limbs and stone LGBT to death, where is dead penalty for converting from islam, where the women have roghts, name one sport person from SA or sport.

I am sure the Saudi girls will be allowed to play the tennis too in Rafa campus, you know that Rafa has his campus in SA, don’t you, it’s just a money grab.

Wog Boy Says:

^^^…. and no, Novak would have never accepted to be their ambassador nor Roger for that matter (he is too smart to risk his reputation), by accepting that role you are promoting that country , their values and what they stand for, as simply as it is and you can hear him in this video already doing the job he was assigned by SA.

To clarify, we are not talking about Rafa academies campuses that he has in that part of the world, that’s business and they are not for locals anyway nor they will be practicing there, they are for young and coming players who can afford to go and practice there, that’s quite ok, we are talking about accepting the roll from SA.

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