2016 Australian Open: Who can stop Djokovic?

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The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam event of the calendar year and the best players in the world will all be looking to open their respective seasons with positive performances in Melbourne. Novak Djokovic is the defending champion and the world number one will be keen to add to his five Australian Open titles in this event. He won three of the four major championships in 2015 and will be one of the leading candidates for success in the 2016 event. We take a look at a few of the potential challengers for his crown, as well as evaluating Djokovic’s chances of earning yet another Grand Slam victory. Andy Murray may be the main threat to Djokovic’s crown. In fact, the Scot may become tennis’ dominant force in the near future and could challenge the Serbian for all four of the sport’s major championships in 2016. Murray played some scintillating tennis throughout 2015 but just fell short at the vital moment as Roger Federer raised his game to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the US Open. Unfortunately for the Swiss legend, Djokovic was just too strong. However, this is now Murray’s time to shine and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the British number one reach the final of the competition. At the time of writing, Murray is priced at 9/2 with bet365 to win the Australian Open in January. [caption id="attachment_17508" align="alignright" width="500"]Image by David Jones Image by David Jones[/caption] Federer isn’t on his last legs just yet but, at 34 years old, it may be a little too much on the faster hard court surface. He will certainly go down as one of the all-time greats and many of the neutrals will be hoping that he could win his first Australian Open title since 2010. If anyone can do it, Federer can. The Swiss has constantly defied the odds over the years but may find the going a bit too difficult, especially if Djokovic, who is often viewed as the pantomime villain, performs at his very best. Federer rolled back the clock at Wimbledon last summer but still wasn’t able to beat Djokovic. It will take a minor miracle for Federer to win the event but you just cannot count him out. via GIPHY While the likes of Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal could surprise a few and reach the latter stages of the competition, this is Djokovic’s title to lose. The Serbian is just too good right now, and is currently streets ahead of his nearest competitors. The ‘Big Four’ that once dominated the sport is now down to one sole star and he will be keen to open 2016 with yet another Grand Slam title as he chases more success for his future legacy as one of the best champions of all time. Tennis fans have been blessed with the likes of Nadal and Federer but Djokovic may be the most complete player in the modern era. Unless Murray or Federer play out of their skin, it’s very likely that Novak Djokovic will lift his sixth Australian Open title at the end of January.]]>

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