The 2019 Australian Open, first of the four Grand Slams this year, is just a week away and the likes of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are all set to feature and fight for glory.
What is very impressive is the fact that ten years ago, in 2009, the top three seeds at the Australian Open were also this year’s top three.
Federer will come to Melbourne as the winner of the last two editions of the tournament and a six-time champion throughout his illustrious career with the first win being in the 2004 edition.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 7, 2019
The 2017 win was one which helped the Swiss maestro regain his form and get back to winning ways in a hard-fought final against eternal rival Rafa Nadal. Last year, he was also able to defend the title and win it for the second consecutive time.
This year he will be after his third Australian Open within the span of three years. However, if he fails to win the title, for sure it will not be considered as a catastrophe given what he achieved over the years.
The current world number two on the ATP rankings, Rafa Nadal, has had his 2018 season continuously characterised by injuries and it is for this reason that the Spaniard maybe is not the most favourite out of the top three to win in Melbourne.
Also, Nadal has only won the tournament once back in 2009 making it the least favourite of the four Grand Slams for the 32-year old. Rafa Nadal is more of a clay court player and things will be different for him at this year’s edition of the French Open in May.
Despite losing his last two tournaments of 2018 (the Paris Masters and the London ATP Finals) and also the first one of 2019 (the Qatar ExxonMobil Open) quite unexpectedly, it is Novak Djokovic who comes to Melbourne as the number one favourite to be champion and with a lot at stake.
The Australian Open is the Grand Slam which Djokovic won the most out of all the four Grand Slams. In fact, the Serb has a total of six titles in Melbourne, the same as Federer.
Roger Federer on Novak Djokovic at #AusOpen 2019:
"No doubt about it. I think he's the favourite." pic.twitter.com/WuSJ1grrM1
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 5, 2019
With age catching up, Djokovic will be wanting to win as much Grand Slam titles as he can which becomes more difficult with time.
So, it is fair to say that of the big three in the ATP rankings, it is the Serbian for whom there is the most at stake at the 2019 Australian Open.