Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2021

Exclusive: ‘I am expecting Novak Djokovic to have huge year’

Novak Djokovic is not only the clear favourite for the Australian Open, but is set for a ‘huge year,’ according to Eurosport analyst Barbara Schett.

Djokovic heads into the Australian Open ranked number five in the world, although that ranking is skewered by him being unable to play many tournaments in 2022 and the major he won, Wimbledon, not awarding ranking points.

He finished the season in sensational form, though, and Schett is expecting big things from the Serbian this year.

Speaking exclusively to Tennishead ahead of the Australian Open, which is live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport, Schett said: “Well, I think he is going in as the heavy favourite into the Australian Open.

“He has had a pretty good start in the Australian tennis summer, winning the tournament in Adelaide.

“I wonder how things are with his quad, I hope that is not such a big deal for him, but he is so hungry. We saw some images of him stepping out on Rod Laver Arena to practice, he kissed the ground and he was just so happy to be back.

“I mean that is where he has had so much success as well, he has won the title nine time and he obviously feels really comfortable in that stadium and in Melbourne Park.

“And he is fresh, you know he hasn’t played that much, last year I think he only played 11 tournaments and that is going to help extend his career as well – maybe sometimes it is not too bad to have a bit of a breather.”

This time last year Novak Djokovic was dominating the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as he was embroiled in an ugly vaccination row with the Australian government that eventually led to his deportation.

However, Schett believes he has now put that firmly behind him.

“What happened I think he has put behind himself, he said that it was really tough on him and not easy to digest, but I think he does not hold any grudge now. He is there to compete and I am expecting him to be super motivated.”

“When you see him out there on the court, for me he is the most complete player. To see where he is at now, the ranking is number five in the world.

“He didn’t play two Grand Slam’s last year, and he won Wimbledon where he didn’t get any points, so to be where he is at is phenomenal. I am expecting him to have a big year, a huge year this year.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.