How can Novak Djokovic Win the Australian Open 2021?

Published 12/25/2020, 7:00 AM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates in his Men’s Singles first round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during Day one of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


You would seldom bet against a defending champion landing the title again on the same turf. And if it is Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, then you dare not!

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With a lion’s share of his 17 Grand Slam titles, eight to be precise, won at the Australian Open, the Melbourne Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Serb.

In a sense, the Melbourne Park is to Djokovic what the Roland-Garros has been for his archrival, Rafael Nadal, giving him 13 of his 20 Major crowns.

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So going into the year’s first Grand Slam in February, Djokovic will start as the bookmakers’ favorite to clinch his ninth Australian Open title. Should he win his ninth at the imposing Rod Laver Arena on February 21, Djokovic would equal Martina Navratilova’s feat of the second highest number of titles at the same Grand Slam event.

Djokovic bidding to equal Navratilova’s record of most titles at single Grand Slam event

Navratilova won nine Wimbledon titles, a record which continues to stand to this day. So as Djokovic bids for his ninth Australian Open crown next year, who should he be wary of?

It’s still uncertain if Roger Federer will give himself a chance to avenge his semi-final loss to Djokovic last year. The Swiss icon recently said that his recovery from a second knee surgery is still behind schedule and that he may not be ready in time for the year’s first Grand Slam.

While the veteran is already into his pre-season training block in Dubai, there’s a good chance that he may not play the Australian Open. Should that happen, it will be one less title challenger for Djokovic to worry about.

Why Novak Djokovic should be wary of the younger crop

Another title contender that the Serb would be wary of is, of course, Nadal. With five Australian Open titles to his credit, the Spaniard would be hungry for the sixth and reduce his 27-29 head-to-head deficit against Djokovic.

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Reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem would also pose a potent title challenge to the Serb. The Austrian beat Djokovic at the ATP Finals this year, closing the head-to-head gap to 5-7. He was also the losing finalist at the Australian Open last year. Seen as one to shake the ‘Big Three’s’ hold over Grand Slams, Thiem has the game to take out Djokovic on his happy hunting ground.

Also, don’t rule out the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and young Jannik Sinner from engineering an upset win over the Serb.

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At 33, Djokovic isn’t the youngest in the men’s circuit and one reckons he might have to try to close out points early and cut down on long rallies against the younger crop if he has to make another Australian Open final, and possibly win his ninth.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

856 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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