Three Players Who Are Yet To Play In 2024 But Could Challenge Djokovic At Australian Open

Three Players Who Are Yet To Play In 2024 But Could Challenge Djokovic At Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic was recently in action at the United Cup, where he wanted to get some valuable court time ahead of his Australian Open title defense.

With 10 Australian Open titles to his name, Djokovic's thirst for No. 11 could be quenched by the end of the month. However, there have been some interesting developments in the opening week of the season to suggest he could face the sternest examination of his title credentials in Melbourne.

Djokovic picked up a wrist issue while representing Serbia at the United Cup, although he brushed off any serious concerns about the injury potentially impacting his upcoming Australian Open campaign.

Moreover, Djokovic's main competition at the Melbourne Slam could feasibly come in the form of three men who barely struck a ball in the first week of the new tennis season. So, who are they?

3. Jannik Sinner

After three unsuccessful tries, Jannik Sinner eventually broke down the Djokovic door at the Davis Cup last season. The 22-year-old became the first man to save three successive match points and beat Djokovic in a thrilling semifinal rubber in Malaga.

With a rapidly improving game, thanks to the presence of two capable coaches in his team, Sinner's self-belief has gone up immeasurably since toppling the Serb, and he is among the top five favorites to win the 2024 Australian Open.

2. Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev has surprisingly elected not to play any warm-up tournaments before Melbourne. Even the ATP's most durable player felt he pushed his body beyond normal capacity. Of Djokovic's six defeats on the ATP Tour last season, one of those was inflicted by Medvedev (Dubai final).

The Russian possesses the weaponry, the speed, and a relentless playing style to frustrate Djokovic. He's done it five times in his career, none in a more compelling stage than the 2021 US Open.

And after last year's disappointing third-round exit at the Australian Open, Medvedev will be determined to do well even if it means going through Djokovic.

1. Carlos Alcaraz

As one of five active men who have beaten Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam final, Carlos Alcaraz has got the Serb's attention and is undoubtedly his main challenger at the 2024 Australian Open.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head record 3-2 winning two high-stakes matches last season, but Alcaraz won their most recent meeting in an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia.

Although the outcome of their clash in the Gulf Kingdom is unlikely to have any bearing at the Australian Open should they meet, Alcaraz has a lot to gain during the year's first Grand Slam tournament, including the World No. 1 ranking.


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