Novak Djokovic begins his pursuit of a record-extending tenth Australian Open crown against Roberto Carballes Baena in Round One on…
Novak Djokovic begins his pursuit of a record-extending tenth Australian Open crown against Roberto Carballes Baena in Round One on Tuesday.
After missing last year’s event in controversial circumstances, the Serb will look to pick up where he left off on Rod Laver Arena, where he has won each of his last 21 matches.
The nine-time champion would break Monica Seles’ Open Era record (26 successive wins) with another run to the final this year.
Djokovic will match Rafael Nadal’s 22 grand slam titles by lifting the trophy this year, while he would also return to world number one.
He will certainly be confident of doing so having already collected silverware at the Adelaide International earlier this month, meaning he has not lost a match in Australia since his fourth-round defeat to Hyeon Chung in Melbourne five years ago (winning 34 on the spin).
Despite his absence here 12 months ago, Djokovic went on to enjoy another successful season on the ATP Tour.
The Serb claimed a joint-best five titles – level with Carlos Alcaraz – including a seventh Wimbledon crown and the ATP Finals, while also triumphing in Roma, Tel Aviv and Astana.
He prevailed in straight sets in his only previous showdown with Baena at the 2019 US Open.
The world number 75 is undoubtedly the underdog heading into this tie having failed to win a set in his three meetings with top-five opponents, and only progressed to round two once in his four Australian Open appearances.
The winner of this match will play either Enzo Couacaud or Hugo Dellien in the second round at Melbourne Park.
Play gets underway at around 10am GMT on Tuesday and will be contested over the best of five sets on Rod Laver Arena.
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