Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic reveals his ‘biggest threat’ to Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic has backed himself as his own ‘biggest threat’ to winning the Australian Open this year, as he provided an update on his wrist after there were some concerns at the United Cup.

Djokovic is a 10-time champion at the Australian Open, with his last loss at the tournament coming in 2018 against Hyeon Chung in the fourth round.

The Serb was on a 43-match winning run down under until last week, when Alex de Minaur beat Djokovic at the United Cup in Perth.

It was in this match that Djokovic appeared to be struggling with his wrist, which he has now provided an update on ahead of the first major of 2024, “My wrist is good. I’ve been training well. Practice sessions pain-free so far. It’s good. It’s all looking good. Let’s see how it goes.

“It’s not as bad as some other injuries I had here. 2021 [stomach tear] and last year [hamstring], I had worse injuries that I had to deal with. So, yeah, I mean, I can’t predict whether it’s going to come back. Once I start playing more matches, stress levels go higher. I don’t know. We have to find out.”

Djokovic is the top seed in Melbourne, followed by the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner, who all beat him last year.

However, when asked about his biggest threat to a record 11th title, Djokovic named himself, “Myself always first, and then, of course, all the other best players in the world. Any player is here with, I’m sure, the intention to achieve the dream of winning a Grand Slam.”

He continued, “Some players are obviously more expected to go further than some others. It’s a 128-draw. It’s a Grand Slam. We know what a Grand Slam represents for our sport. It’s where every player wants to play their best tennis. Yeah, it’s exciting to be a part of another Slam,”

Djokovic suffered only one Grand Slam defeat last year, losing in the Wimbledon final to the aforementioned Alcaraz, and is eyeing a historic Golden Slam in this Olympic year.

The 36-year-old was asked in press about how he could better 2023, to which he answered with a smile, “Well, you can win four Grand Slams and Olympic gold.

“It’s not a secret that I want to break more records and make more history of the game. That’s something that keeps on motivating me,” said the men’s world number one, who won the Australian, French and US Open titles last year.”

Djokovic will begin his 19th Australian Open campaign tomorrow, as part of the first Sunday start in history at the tournament, against 18-year-old qualifier Dino Prizmic in the first night session match on Rod Laver Arena.

Inside the baseline…

Obviously Novak Djokovic is the clear favourite for the Australian Open with his incredible pedigree at the tournament, but to come out and suggest that shows how much confidence you must have in yourself. It appears to be good news about his wrist, as Djokovic is unlikely to give the all clear unless it genuinely is feeling better. A Golden Slam has only ever been achieved by Steffi Graf before, so it would be an incredible feat if Djokovic could do it this year, but if anyone can then it will be him.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.