Djokovic bids for Grand Slam history at Australian Open 2024

Djokovic bids for Grand Slam history at Australian Open 2024

/ 10:55 AM January 14, 2024

Australian Open 2024 Novak Djokovic

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic speaks at a press conference in Melbourne on January 13, 2024 ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship starting on January 14. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Novak Djokovic launches his bid for Grand Slam history at the Australian Open on Sunday against 18-year-old qualifier Dino Prizmic as Aryna Sabalenka starts her title defense.

World number one Djokovic is gunning for his 11th Australian Open title and 25th major, which would take him clear of Margaret Court on the all-time list.


The Serbian, with 24 Grand Slams, is already the most-decorated player in the men’s game — two clear of the injured Rafael Nadal and four ahead of the retired Roger Federer.


Djokovic came within a whisker of completing a calendar Grand Slam last year, winning three titles and losing a thrilling Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz.

The 36-year-old, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year’s title match in Melbourne, is the hot favorite again.

“I’m just hoping I can start the season in a way that I have been starting my seasons, most of my seasons, throughout my career, with a win here in Australia, in Melbourne,” he said.

“It’s my favorite place, no doubt — the court where I’ve done great things and achieved my greatest Grand Slam results.”

Belarusian star Sabalenka is used to playing at the sharp end of the majors after a breakthrough 2023 in which she won in Melbourne, finished runner-up at the US Open and made the semi-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

In doing so, she became the first woman since Serena Williams in 2016 to reach at least the semi-finals of all four Grand Slams in a calendar year.


Currently ranked number two behind Poland’s Iga Swiatek, the 25-year-old, who will face unseeded German Ella Seidel, said she is in good shape mentally and physically.

“I had an incredible season last year, improved a lot as a player and as a person. I did really a great pre-season. We worked a lot. I felt like we improved a lot,” she said.

Former champion Caroline Wozniacki, granted a wildcard to compete, returns to the scene of her greatest triumph four years after her last appearance at Melbourne Park.

The 2018 Australian Open winner has joined a group of tennis mums juggling on-court commitments with the duties of motherhood, including Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka.

The 33-year-old, who plays Poland’s 20th-seed Magda Linette, still believes she can mix it with the best despite her long absence from the tour.

“I think any time I step on a court, I believe I can win the match no matter who the opponent is across the net” she said.

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Also in action on day one at the Australian Open — which is a 15-day event for the first time — are men’s fourth seed Jannik Sinner, fifth seed Andrey Rublev, fresh from winning the Hong Kong Open, and women’s eighth seed Maria Sakkari.

TAGS: Australian Open, Novak Djokovic

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