The first Grand Slam of a new decade, the Australian Open 2020 is all set to kickstart on Monday, January 20 at Melbourne Park.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer will be the top seeds at the Australian Open, for the record eighth time in 13 straight years. Ironically, in each of those editions, one of them went on to win the title.
Is this going to be another repeat? Are we going to witness another Grand Slam and one of the big 3 lifting the trophy after two weeks of intense tennis? Are the next gen of tennis going to up their game and set the stage for some upsets? Only time will tell.
The top players outside the big three showed glimpses of great tennis. Tennis that we'll be seeing once the big three bid adieu to the game they've dominated years after years.
But hang on for a second. The three greats of the game aren't done yet. They were the top three seeds in the 2008 Australian Open. 12 years later, they are still dominating the sport. How far will they go in the Australian Open 2020? Let's have a look at the potential threat for the big three:
The Spaniard has easy first-three rounds but faces a potential threat from Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the fourth. From the Australian point of view, he must go past the challenge of Russia's Karen Khachanov before he possibly faces Nadal.
The 2019 US Open finalist, the rising Russian, Daniil Medvedev is drawn in the same half as Nadal and there are chances of a semi-final clash.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic recently helped Serbia win the inaugural ATP Cup down under. He is shaping up well and is fit to lift the title for the record eighth time.
Djokovic is drawn in the second half of the draw and will play J. Struff in the opening round clash. He won't have to break a sweat till he faces the spirited Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the pre-quarterfinal. The road for Djokovic will only get difficult as he faces a potential quarter-final clash against last year's semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.
India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran was given an entry into the main draw as a lucky loser. He was the highest ranked player among the ones that couldn't get past the qualifying round. Prajnesh will play Tatsuma Ito of Japan in Round 1 and there's a possibility that he could face Djokovic in the second round.
The Swiss great is in the same half as Djokovic. Federer's first-round opponent is Steve Johnson. The 20-time Grand Slam Champion also has easy first few rounds. He's likely to face either one of Denis Shapovalov or Grigor Dimitrov in the pre-quarterfinal.
Many will relate Federer as a guy who does not believe in avenging the defeats. But if he changes his mind, he can certainly look forward to meeting the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, to whom he lost in the 2019 US Open Quarter-final.