The Serb’s bid for a fifth consecutive Australian Open title could have to go through Australian Alexei Popyrin as well as a nostalgic meeting in the third round with Andy Murray. A testing beginning to the second week will see Djokovic likely face Ben Shelton in a rematch from their tasty clash at the US Open although Roberto Bautista Agut may have something to say about that. A potential rematch of last year’s final against Stefanos Tsitsipas could await in the last eight before facing his two nearest rivals Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz in back-to-back matches. Overall Djokovic will fancy his chances of winning and 11th Australian Open title and regardless of the draw, the Serb will believe he is firm favourite to beat any player on the tour.
After struggling in the second half of the season, Alcaraz looks to regain his form and confidence as he makes his first appearance in Melbourne since 2022.
Alcaraz’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)
R1: Richard Gasquet | H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0
R2: Dan Evans | H2H: Alcaraz leads 4-0
R3: Alexander Bublik  | H2H: First Meeting
R4: Tommy Paul  | H2H: Tied at 2-2
QF: Alexander Zverev  | H2H: Zverev leads 4-3
SF: Daniil Medvedev  | H2H: Alcaraz leads 3-2
F: Novak Djokovic  | H2H: Djokovic leads 3-2
Alcaraz has a tricky opening week with Richard Gasquet, Dan Evans and Alexander Bublik all capable of posing problems to the Spaniard’s all-court power. In the second week Tommy Paul and Alexander Zverev will be opponents that will not be afraid of Alcaraz’s athletic game given the head-to-head record against those opponents. Former finalist Daniil Medvedev will stand in Alcaraz’s way of a first Australian Open final as he bids to assert his dominance once again on the Grand Slam stage. Overall it’s the perfect draw for Alcaraz as it will ensure the Spaniard is alert in the early rounds but it also has the potential for the Spaniard to enter the second week physically and mentally fresh.
Medvedev will be provided with an early test against Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round although the third seed should cruise past Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round. An in-form Grigor Dimitrov will be Medvedev’s biggest challenge en route to a potential semi-final with Carlos Alcaraz. The former finalist will fancy his chances to make another deep run in Melbourne as long as he can keep his composure and approach the tournament with a free mentality.
Sinner’s run to the final of the ATP Finals was a big boost psychologically for the Italian and will now look to use that to make a breakthrough run at the Grand Slams this season.
Sinner’s Path to the Final
R1: Botic Van De Zandschulp | H2H: First Meeting
R2: Pedro Cachin | H2H: First Meeting
R3: Sebastian Baez  | H2H: Sinner leads 1-0
R4: Karen Khachanov  | H2H: Sinner leads 2-1
QF: Andrey Rublev  | H2H: Sinner leads 4-2
SF: Novak Djokovic  | H2H: Djokovic leads 4-2
F: Carlos Alcaraz  | H2H: Sinner leads 4-3
Sinner couldn’t have asked for a better draw as he searches for a first Grand Slam semi-final. The Italian will no doubt face tests in the second week from Karen Khachanov and an in-form Alex De Minaur. However given the potential draws he could have had, Sinner will fancy his chances of reaching a first Grand Slam semi-final in Melbourne where he would face Novak Djokovic, a match where he will have nothing to lose.
The 2024 Australian Open starts on the 14th of January and concludes on the 28th of January.
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