Scouting Report: Djokovic Chases His 11th Australian Open Crown; Alcaraz and Medvedev are fighting for first place | ATP Tour

Intelligence Report

Scouting Report: Djokovic Chases His 11th Australian Open Crown; Alcaraz and Medvedev are fighting for first place

Everything fans need to know about this year’s first Grand Slam

January 13, 2024

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev are the top favorites for the Australian Open.

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour


Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev are the top favorites for the Australian Open.
Author: ATPTour.com/es staff

After a busy start to the 2024 season, culminating with Germany winning the United Cup, the ATP Tour’s top players are now ready to compete at the Australian Open.

ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to follow for the first Grand Slam of the year.

1) Djokovic, defending champion: The Serbian enters Australia’s Grand Slam tournament as No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and is on a streak of 28 consecutive victories at the tournament. The champion is looking to extend his record of Australian Open titles to 11 crowns and 25 Grand Slams in his last four appearances. He will make his debut in 2024 against Dino Prizmic and could face Andy Murray or Gael Monfils in the third round.

2) Alcaraz returns: Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the 2023 Australian Open due to injury, is back. The Spaniard is within striking distance of the No. 1 seed in the hands of Djokovic and a final between the two could determine the top of the Pepperstone ATP rankings in Melbourne. The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam tournament in which Alcaraz did not reach at least the semifinals. The Spaniard will be looking to improve his record in Melbourne, which currently stands at 3-2. He will make his debut in the first round against Richard Gasquet.

3) Medvedev wants to remove the splinter: After two straight finals at the first major of the year, Daniil Medvedev was knocked out early in the third round against Sebastian Korda in 2023. Get 1000 trophies from Miami and Rome. After the Wimbledon semi-finals and US Open final, the 2021 US Open champion is chasing his second Grand Slam title. In the first round, Medvedev will meet Frenchman Terence Atmanet.

Alcaraz challenges Djokovic for top spot at Australian Open

4) Sinner’s moment?: Italian Jannik Sinner ended the 2023 season in style by reaching the Nitto ATP Finals and leading Italy to the Davis Cup title. During these two tournaments, he defeated Djokovic twice (three times if you count the Davis Cup doubles semi-final match). He begins the new season ranked fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and is chasing his first Grand Slam title. Having reached the quarter-finals at every major, she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2023, her best result at a Grand Slam tournament. Botik van de Zandschulp is eyeing the fourth seed in the first round of the Australian Open.

5) Rublev strives to reach the quarterfinals: The top five favorites include Andrey Rublev, who reached the quarterfinals of Grand Slam tournaments three times in 2023 (a total of nine in his career). The fan favorite has not yet been able to overcome this ceiling and is preparing for his first semi-final in a tournament of this category. Of course, he could face Sinner in the quarter-finals in Australia, but first he should look to his debut against Thiago Seyboth Wild.

6) Tsitsipas “plays at home”: Stefanos Tsitsipas feels at home at Melbourne Park thanks to the city’s large Greek population and his success at the tournament. After reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open three times, he reached the second Grand Slam final of his career last year at the Rod Laver Arena. Tsitsipas will have to survive a stellar first-round fight against Matteo Berrettini before thinking about the higher levels.

7) Americans in the spotlight: For the first time in Melbourne since the 2000 Australian Open – and the first at a Grand Slam since the 2005 US Open – three Americans reached the quarterfinals last year in the first Grand Slam of the year. Tommy Paul went the furthest, beating Ben Shelton in the quarter-finals and then losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals. Korda, the third American in the quarterfinals, surprised Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz but was forced to withdraw from his match against Karen Khachanov due to a wrist injury. Then, of the three, only one was sown: Korda. This time it’s all three of them, as well as their compatriots Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe.

8) The old guard will have a hard time: Veterans such as Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils and Gasquet have had great moments in 2023, winning an ATP Tour title (Monfils, Gasquet) or reaching the final (Murray, Wawrinka, Thiem). These fan favorites will face a tough test as they try to continue to add new chapters to their careers in Melbourne.

Thiem will open against No. 27 Felix Auger-Aliassime while Wawrinka faces No. 20 seed Adrian Mannarino. Murray and Monfils could meet in the second round, with Djokovic a potential third-round opponent.

9) #NextGenATP Stars in Action: Frenchman Arthur Fils, last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals finalist, is one of the competitors present in Jeddah for the draw in Melbourne. At 19, the Hong Kong quarter-finalist and Auckland semi-finalist begins his involvement in the first major of 2024 against Jiri Vesely. Other #NextGenATP stars will be Shang Juncheng (vs. Mackenzie McDonald), Luca Van Assche (vs. James Duckworth) and Alex Michelsen (vs. James McCabe).

10) Will the doubles title remain in Australian hands? Two Australian teams have won the doubles title in Melbourne in the last two seasons, with Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios winning in 2022 and Rinki Hijikata and Jason Kubler winning in 2023. Hijikata and Kubler will be the 0.16 favorites. defend the title. Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek will take the No. 1 spot after being ranked No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP doubles rankings last year, while Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury are ranked No. 3 after winning four of their last six tournaments (including the US Open and Nitto ATP) . The final).

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button