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'I'm pretty fit' – Evans responds to Henman's 'miss a few meals' quip

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020
2020 Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 February
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

British number one Dan Evans says he is happy with his physical condition after Tim Henman suggested he should “miss a few meals” if he wants to break into the world’s top 20 players.

Evans, 29, has leapt up the rankings to be seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam in next week’s Australian Open.

Henman made the comment after captaining Britain at the ATP Cup, where Evans was the team’s best player.

“I’m pretty fit, it’s just how I look I guess,” said Evans, seeded 30th.

Former world number four Henman, who made a return to top-level tennis after being chosen by Andy Murray to lead Britain, bonded well with Evans during the inaugural tournament held in Australia, where they were beaten by the hosts in the quarter-finals.

Evans won three of his four matches, including impressive victories over Belgium world number 11 David Goffin and Australia’s world number 18 Alex de Minaur.

That prompted Henman to say the world number 33 had the ability to break into the top 20 if he looks after himself better off the court.

“Just because you were a good tennis player doesn’t mean you’re an expert in all fields,” Evans told BBC Sport.

“Tim has plenty of opinions, that was his opinion on this subject and I’ll leave him to it.”

Nevertheless, Evans said he still wants to lean on Henman, who had a similar playing style, in the future after their success together at the ATP Cup.

“If I see him I’ll ask him stuff, he was really good and a big help,” Evans added.

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Australian Open 2020: What happens when tennis greats call it a day?

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020
2020 Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 February
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open, calling time on her playing career before she turns 30.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who won 30 WTA singles titles, plans to focus on her life away from tennis and hopes to start a family.

At 29, it is an early departure for the Dane, who is ranked inside the world’s top 40.

But how much do you remember about other tennis stars who decided to hang up their racquet at an early age?

Take our quiz below to find out…

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Dominant Rublev Doubles Up With Adelaide Crown

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020

Dominant Rublev Doubles Up With Adelaide Crown

Russian clinches fourth ATP Tour title

Andrey Rublev became the first man in 16 years to win back-to-back titles in the opening two weeks of the season on Saturday, beating Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-0 to capture the inaugural Adelaide International title.

The World No. 18 saved all four break points he faced to clinch the trophy in 56 minutes. Rublev is now unbeaten in 12 matches, which includes an 8-0 start to the 2020 ATP Tour season. Last week, the Russian won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha without dropping a set.

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The last man to capture two trophies in as many weeks to open the season was Dominik Hrbaty in 2004. The Slovakian lifted titles in Adelaide and Auckland ahead of the Australian Open.

“I was not thinking about [this statistic], but it’s an amazing feeling… I’m really happy. I hope I keep working. I hope I keep improving, and we’ll see what’s going to happen,” said Rublev.

Rublev claimed the first break of the match in the sixth game, focusing his attack on Harris’ forehand to extract multiple errors. From 0/40 down in the following game, Rublev once again targeted his opponent’s forehand to hold serve for 5-2 and served out the set two games later.

Consistency proved crucial in the opening game of the second set, as Rublev took advantage of Harris’ errors to break serve for a second time. The 22-year-old rode the momentum, earning two further service breaks before closing out the match with attacking play.

“The first set was really tough because he had a couple of break points. [It] was a really nervous and tough first set. And then, I don’t know, I started to play even better,” said Rublev. “I think he got maybe a little bit disappointed because he had chances in the first set and he didn’t make it. He was, I think, a little bit down and I started to play even better.”

On his first match point, Rublev moved to the net behind a powerful forehand and forced his opponent into a backhand error with a short volley. The Russian turned to his team in celebration and smiled, having doubled his ATP Tour trophy collection since the start of the year.

“This is what we are working for, to be more consistent, to be more mentally strong,” said Rublev. “This is what we’re working for. And I’m happy that these two weeks went this way… I got two titles. It’s amazing. I never had this before.”

Harris was aiming to capture his first ATP Tour trophy in his maiden tour-level championship match. The South African, who represented his country at the inaugural ATP Cup, defeated sixth seed Cristian Garin and fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta en route to the championship match.

Rublev receives 250 FedEx ATP Rankings points and collects $91,625 in prize money. Harris earns 150 points and receives $50,710.

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Novak Powers Into Australian Open Main Draw

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020

Novak Powers Into Australian Open Main Draw

Safwat makes history for Egypt on Saturday

Ten remaining qualifying spots were up for grabs on Saturday at the Australian Open and Dennis Novak wasted no time securing his place in the main draw. The top-seeded Austrian battled past Japanese Hiroki Moriya 7-6(5), 6-2 for his second main draw appearance in Melbourne.

Mohamed Safwat became the first Egyptian player in 24 years to qualify for a Grand Slam by defeating sixth-seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4. Four players also enjoyed the milestone moment of reaching their first Grand Slam main draw: Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan, Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, Chilean Alejandro Tabilo and Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez.

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Three players received lucky loser spots into the main draw due to withdrawals: Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, Donskoy and Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Kovalik and Gunneswaran lost their final-round qualifying matches on Friday.

The 16 qualifiers and three lucky losers were all placed into the main draw on Saturday.

Qualifier & Lucky Loser Placements
(Q) Mario Vilella Martinez (ESP) v. (16) Karen Khachanov (RUS)
(Q) Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v. (20) Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
(Q) Tallon Griekspoor (NED) v. (29) Taylor Fritz (USA)
(Q) Christopher Eubanks (USA) v. (Q) Peter Gojowczyk (GER)
(Q) Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) v. (Q)Daniel Elahi Galan (COL)
(Q) Ilya Ivashka (BLR) v. Kevin Anderson (RSA)
(Q) Pedro Martinez (ESP) v. Dominik Koepfer (GER)
(Q) Elliot Benchetrit (FRA) v. Yuichi Sugita (JPN)
(Q) Marco Trungelliti (ARG) v. Tennys Sandgren (USA)
(Q) Mohamed Safwat (EGY) v. Gregoire Barrere (FRA)
(Q) Max Purcell (AUS) v. Jannik Sinner (ITA)
(Q) Dennis Novak (AUT) v. Hubert Hurkacz (POL)
(Q) Quentin Halys (FRA) v. Filip Krajinovic (SRB)
(Q) Norbert Gombos (SVK) v. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP)
(LL) Jozef Kovalik (SVK) v. (27) Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
(LL) Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
(LL) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) v. Tatsuma Ito (JPN)

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Defending champion Osaka doesn't feel like 'top player'

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020

Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she still does not see herself as a “top player” despite preparing to defend her Australian Open title next week.

The 22-year-old, who won her first major at the US Open in 2018, is seeded third in Melbourne.

“It’s funny, you guys tell me this top player thing and I never really see it like that,” said Osaka.

The Japanese starts against unseeded Czech Marie Bouzkova on Monday.

Osaka’s maiden Grand Slam victory in New York was the standout moment of her rapid rise in 2018.

She won her first WTA title at Indian Wells in March and, on the back of her US Open win, climbed into the world’s top five after being ranked 72nd in January.

“I still feel like Indian Wells was two weeks ago, 2018 Indian Wells. It’s really weird,” said a smiling Osaka, who became the first player since American Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to follow her maiden Grand Slam win immediately with another triumph when she claimed last year’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

But she was unable to match those heights during the rest of 2019, which she describes as the toughest year of her life as she struggled to cope with the expectation her previous results had created.

“I guess just before everything (the success), if I lost it wouldn’t be an article. Now if I lose there’s news. It was tough adjusting to that,” she said.

“I think I’m definitely more relaxed now compared to the US Open.

“I learned a lot there, just in a way of handling my nerves and what to expect. I’m glad I was able to experience everything that I experienced.

“I think heading into this tournament, I’ll be more prepared.”

Wozniacki ‘calm’ as she prepares for final tournament

Denmark’s former world number one Caroline Wozniacki is approaching the Australian Open “like any other tournament” as she prepares to bring a distinguished career to a close.

The 29-year-old, who won her first Grand Slam at the 2018 tournament in Melbourne, is retiring after the event, saying she wants to “achieve other things in life”.

She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last year, which she says was not the reason behind her decision to retire, although she wants to “work on” the autoimmune disease which causes pain and inflammation in joints post-playing.

The world number 35 has also enrolled at Harvard Business School and says she has a “slam packed” diary over the next six months.

Her plans include going skiing with her family, a couple of “girls trips” and a belated honeymoon with her husband David, the former NBA basketball star who she married in June last year.

“I’ve done everything I could to prepare as well as I can for this tournament, then hope for the best,” said Wozniacki, who is unseeded and plays American Kristie Ahn in the first round.

“So far I’m calm and just enjoying myself. I’m sure once the last ball is hit, it’s going to be a bit emotional.”

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'I don't think I could do more than I did' – Federer defends air quality stance

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020
2020 Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 February
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Roger Federer says he could not have “gone on court and told people to stop” when poor air quality affected players in Australian Open qualifying.

Bushfires in Australia have caused air pollution issues and several lower-ranked players criticised the top stars for not publicly supporting them.

Swiss great Federer said he spoke to tournament officials, telling them they needed to communicate better.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner said: “I don’t think I can do more than I did.”

The 38-year-old world number three, who has won six Australian Open titles, added: “We all care for one another. I told them communication is key for all of us, for everybody.

“We just need to do more because I feel like I hadn’t got enough information.”

Fires have been raging in Australia since September, killing at least 28 people, destroying thousands of homes and scorching millions of acres of land.

Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal says he also spoke to Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley and was “convinced” by the reassurances given that players would be taken off court if air quality experts deemed it was unhealthy to compete in.

Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic had to be helped off court when she retired from her qualifying match on Tuesday because of the air quality.

British player Liam Broady said having to play his first-round qualifier on the same day “made his blood boil”, adding he was “gasping for air” as he lost to Belarusian Ilya Ivashka.

People in Melbourne were advised to stay indoors and keep pets inside on Tuesday.

Australian Open organisers have since confirmed matches will be suspended if the level of air quality goes above 200 on the PM2.5 measure they are using.

This information was made public for the first time on Thursday evening, with the players only receiving the information in an email sent out on Wednesday night – described by Broady as “a slap in the face”.

Federer said a lot of players were left confused on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“So what can I do? I can go to the office, speak to them. I went to them the first day when it was bad on Tuesday, the next day on Wednesday when it was still bad,” he added.

“Can I go on court and say, Everybody stop play? I can try. I don’t think that’s going to do much.”

Tiley said the tournament decided on a threshold of 200 for suspending matches after talking to environment experts and respiratory specialists, adding some sporting events – including the Olympics – use 300 as their benchmark.

“I received – and that doesn’t mean everyone should be the same – an answer that convinces me,” Nadal, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, said.

“They told me that they have the right specialists here analysing and monitoring the air every four minutes.

“There are parameters, if it is over 200, we don’t play, and if it is under 200 we normally play.

“And I was given an answer that the ‘Olympic rule’ is until 300 you can keep competing.

“I really cannot believe that the most important committee in the world wants bad health for the competitors.

“So that answer convinces me. I am here to play.”

However, Canadian 13th seed Denis Shapovalov says he would not play – and default a match – if the air quality became hazardous.

“I don’t want to risk my life, risk my health being out there playing in these conditions when I can play for the next 10-15 years,” said the 20-year-old.

“I think everyone is on the same page in terms of how it is.

“I don’t think anyone is happy with the way things are being dealt with.”

Shapovalov, who helped Canada reach the Davis Cup final in November, said tournament officials should consider reducing men’s matches to three sets if play is suspended for long periods because of poor air quality.

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Nadal Shares His Secret To Longevity On Tour

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020

Nadal Shares His Secret To Longevity On Tour

Spaniard looking to return to Australian Open final this fortnight

Rafael Nadal has won 19 Grand Slam titles, been ranked No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in three decades and, at the age of 33, is again the top seed at this month’s Australian Open, which starts Monday in Melbourne.

So what’s his secret? Unfortunately, Nadal confirmed on Saturday, he doesn’t have one.

“No secret at all,” he told reporters. “There is only about passion, about love for the game, and being able to stay positive in the tough moments.”

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Nadal has had more than his share of injuries and, along with his trophy-hoisting moments, he’s had plenty of losses as well.

It’s true that I went through some tough situations during all my career. But I was able to always, with probably the positive attitude and with the right people around, they were key, I was able to find a way to keep going,” he said.

For my style of game, as a lot of people said, my career should be little bit shorter. But here we are. Happy for that. Even for me, it is a big surprise to be where I am at my age.

“Happy for everything. Just enjoying the situation.”

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The Spaniard, who opens against Bolivian Hugo Dellien, will go for his second Australian Open title (2009) this fortnight. Nadal made the final in 2019 (also ’12, ’14, ’17) before falling to Novak Djokovic, the first and only time Nadal did not win a set in 27 major championship finals.

The two met again during the ATP Cup final last weekend in Sydney, and their 55th ATP Head2Head meeting was a straight-sets win for Djokovic. Nadal, however, will be ready for a rematch should it come in the final on 2 February.

I am practising I think more or less okay. Just remain for me two more days of practice. Let’s try to keep going with the right intensity and with the right feelings. Hopefully I will be ready for Tuesday,” Nadal said.

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McLachlan/Bambridge Race To Auckland Doubles Title

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2020

McLachlan/Bambridge Race To Auckland Doubles Title

Unseeded duo prevail in Saturday final

Luke Bambridge/Ben McLachlan made their first ATP Tour event together this year an unforgettable one, powering past Marcus Daniell/Philipp Oswald 7-6(3), 6-3 on Saturday to win the doubles title at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

“It means a lot to win this tournament. I grew up watching this tournament and was a ball kid here,” said McLachlan, a New Zealand native who represents Japan on the ATP Tour. “To be able to do this in front of my parents, my brother and friends is awesome.”

Bambridge/McLachlan won 75 per cent of their second-serve points (6/8) to help guide them through a tight opening set. They secured the lone break of the second set at 4-3 before serving out the match after one hour and 23 minutes. The unseeded pair didn’t drop a set throughout the week to secure their first ATP Tour team doubles title.

“I was thrilled, win or lose, that we went out and really attacked it, put our game style out on the court and implemented exactly what we wanted to do in every single match,” said Bambridge. “I think that’s the reason why we got over the line.”

The British-Japanese duo are a relatively new pairing, but enjoyed success when they teamed up last year. They reached the final in Vienna (l. to Ram/Salisbury) and advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open.

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McLachlan also took the doubles title last year in Auckland (w/Struff). This is his fifth tour-level doubles title and the third for Bambridge, who finished runner-up with Santiago Gonzalez last week in Doha (l. to Bopanna/Koolhof).

Daniell was aiming for his first title on home soil since prevailing as a wild card in 2010 (w/Tecau). Oswald still seeks his first title in Auckland after also finishing runner-up in 2018 (w/Mirnyi).

Bambridge/McLachlan pick up 250 FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $30,900. Daniell/Oswald earn 150 FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $15,840.

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Shapovalov & Felix Lead #NextGenATP To Watch At The Australian Open

  • Posted: Jan 17, 2020

Shapovalov & Felix Lead #NextGenATP To Watch At The Australian Open

Learn about the 2020 Milan contenders who could make their mark in Melbourne

In back-to-back seasons, the player who won the Next Gen ATP Finals the previous year went on to reach the Australian Open semi-finals two months later. Will a #NextGenATP star make a breakthrough in Melbourne in the coming fortnight? examines five of the #NextGenATP stars to watch at this year’s Australian Open:

Denis Shapovalov
Shapovalov finished 2019 with a career-best result, reaching the final of the Rolex Paris Masters. And the dynamic lefty began 2020 just as well, earning Top 10 wins against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev — both former Nitto ATP Finals champions — and pushing World No. 2 Novak Djokovic to a final-set tie-break at the ATP Cup.

Under the tutelage of former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny, Shapovalov has climbed to a career-high World No. 13, allowing fewer lapses in concentration and harnessing his shotmaking abilities.

Despite losing in the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland, Shapovalov carries a lot of momentum into Melbourne, where he lost to Djokovic in the third round last year. Shapovalov will play Hungarian Marton Fucsovics for the first time before potentially facing 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner, who opens against a qualifier.

<a href=''>Denis Shapovalov</a> is aiming to lift his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the <a href=''>Rolex Paris Masters</a> this week.

Felix Auger-Aliassime
This #NextGenATP Canadian has been under a microscope since his early teens, as he became the youngest player to win a main draw match on the ATP Challenger Tour when he was 14. And in 2019, the righty showed why, climbing from outside the Top 100 at the start of the year to a career-high World No. 17 in October. He made his first three ATP Tour finals in Rio de Janeiro, Lyon and Stuttgart.

Auger-Aliassime was soaring entering the most recent Grand Slam, seeded No. 18 at the 2019 US Open, where he lost against Shapovalov in straight sets in the first round. But the 19-year-old is off to a good start in 2020, reaching the semi-finals of the Adelaide International, losing in three sets to in-form Andrey Rublev.

Auger-Aliassime will make his Australian Open main draw debut as the No. 20 seed against a qualifier. If he advances, he will face Aussie James Duckworth or Slovenian Aljaz Bedene.

<a href=''>Felix Auger-Aliassime</a> celebrates a point in Monte-Carlo

Miomir Kecmanovic
Kecmanovic competed in the main draw of each of the four Grand Slams for the first time in 2019, reaching the second round at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. The Serbian will now look for his first main draw victory at the Australian Open when he faces Italian veteran Andreas Seppi in their first ATP Head2Head meeting, with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka or 27-year-old Damir Dzumhur lurking in the second round.

Kecmanovic has steadily improved, utilising his solid baseline game to climb from World No. 131 at the beginning of 2019 to a career-high World No. 47 last August.

“He has improved his serve enough and his groundstrokes are really solid. He’s tough to beat,” said former World No. 5 Jimmy Arias. “He hits the ball deep, consistently, he moves well and obviously competes well.”

<a href=''>Miomir Kecmanovic</a> hits a volley in the third round of the <a href=''>BNP Paribas Open</a>.

Jannik Sinner
No #NextGenATP star gained as much momentum in the final weeks of 2019 as Sinner. The teenager, who began last season outside the Top 500 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, made a big splash by pushing former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka to four sets at the US Open and defeating then-World No. 13 Gael Monfils in Antwerp. But the Italian saved his best for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, where he took the title with an impressive victory against Aussie Alex de Minaur.

Now Sinner is World No. 79, and ready to make his mark in the first Grand Slam for which he has earned a main draw berth via his FedEx ATP Ranking. Sinner will face a qualifier in the first round in Melbourne, and he could potentially face No. 13 seed Shapovalov next.

<a href=''>Jannik Sinner</a>

Alexei Popyrin
One year ago, when he was 19, Popyrin enjoyed his breakthrough. The home favourite reached the third round of the Australian Open with a win against then-World No. 8 Dominic Thiem, ultimately succumbing in five sets against eventual semi-finalist Lucas Pouille.

But since then, Popyrin has grown even more. Currently No. 95 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, this budding #NextGenATP star led the ATP Tour in 2019 by qualifying for 10 tour-level events. Five players were tied for second with six qualifications each. Popyrin will face a tough test in the first round against 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 28 seed.


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Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch At The Australian Open

  • Posted: Jan 17, 2020

Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch At The Australian Open

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming fortnight in Melbourne

After a thrilling start to the season at the ATP Cup as well as in Doha, Adelaide and Auckland, the ATP Tour’s stars are ready for the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open. looks at the storylines to watch in Melbourne:

1. Big Three Lead the Way Again: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have combined for 14 of the past 16 Australian Open titles, 12 straight Grand Slam championships and 55 of 66 majors dating back to Federer’s breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2003. The legends return to Melbourne Park as No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings (Nadal, Djokovic, Federer) and No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 on the Grand Slam title leaders list (Federer 20, Nadal 19, Djokovic 16). This is the eighth time the Big 3 come in together as the Top 3 seeds:

 Year  Rafael Nadal  Novak Djokovic  Roger Federer
 2020  No. 1  No. 2   No. 3
 2019  No. 2  No. 1 (Won)  No. 3
 2015  No. 3  No. 1 (Won)  No. 2 
 2012  No. 2  No. 1 (Won)  No. 3
 2011  No. 1  No. 3 (Won)  No. 2 
 2010  No. 2  No. 3  No. 1 (Won)
 2009  No. 1 (Won)  No. 3  No. 2 
 2008  No. 2  No. 3  No. 1 (Won)

2. Nadal Looks For Second Title: This is the fourth time Nadal comes into the Australian Open as the top seed and he won his lone title here in 2009 as World No. 1. He was also the No. 1 seed in 2011 (QF) and 2018 (QF). If Nadal could capture his second Australian Open title, he would become the third man to win all four Grand Slam tournaments at least twice, joining Australian greats Roy Emerson and Rod Laver.

Last season he became the oldest player (33) to finish year-end No. 1 in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings (since 1973). It was his fifth year-end No. 1 finish, tying Djokovic, Federer and Jimmy Connors for second, trailing only Pete Sampras (6).

3. Dominance Down Under: Djokovic owns a record seven Australian Open titles. He is followed by Federer and Emerson, who have six titles each at the year’s first major. Djokovic beat Nadal in straight sets in last year’s final.

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The 32-year-old Serbian led his country to the ATP Cup title by going 6-0 in singles (2-0 in doubles) with Top 10 wins over No. 10 Gael Monfils, No. 5 Daniil Medvedev and No. 1 Nadal. Djokovic has 899 career wins and with a first-round victory he will become the sixth player in the Open Era with 900 wins (899-187).

4. Federer Eyes Aussie 100: Last season Federer earned his 100th tour-level singles title by capturing the Dubai crown. He also reached 100 wins at Wimbledon (101). The 38-year-old Swiss superstar is making his 21st consecutive appearance in Melbourne and he owns a 97-14 career record at the tournament.

Last year, Federer had a 17-match winning streak snapped with his fourth-round loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The last time the Swiss did not advance to at least the semi-finals in Melbourne in two consecutive years was 2002-03, when he made the Round of 16.

5. Battle for No. 1: Nadal has a 515-point lead over Djokovic going into the Australian Open, and the Serbian could potentially regain No. 1 by the end of the fortnight.

Djokovic has 2,000 points to defend and Nadal is defending 1,200 points. To regain No. 1, Djokovic must win the title AND Nadal must not reach the semi-finals. Nadal and Djokovic are two of the six players to rank No. 1 at least 200 weeks:

 Player  No. of Weeks At No. 1
 Roger Federer   310
 Pete Sampras  286
 Novak Djokovic  275 
 Ivan Lendl  270
 Jimmy Connors  268
 Rafael Nadal  207 (as of 13 January)

6. Who’s Next? No players currently under the age of 30 have won a Grand Slam title. At last year’s US Open, 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev almost broke through, losing to Nadal in five sets in the championship match. The Russian is seeded a career-best No. 4 in a Grand Slam tournament.

Other young stars to watch are No. 5 Dominic Thiem (26), who is a two-time Roland Garros finalist; No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas (21), the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion and last year’s Australian Open semi-finalist; No. 7 Alexander Zverev (22), who won the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals title and is a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist; Denis Shapovalov (20), who is ranked a career-high No. 13 and will be a Top 16 seed in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Shapovalov’s best Slam result came at the 2017 US Open, where he made the fourth round.

7. Russians on the Rise: Andrey Rublev won the Doha title last weekend and moved into the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time at a career-high No. 18. He joins Medvedev at No. 4 and Karen Khachanov at No. 16 inside the Top 20. The last time three Russians were ranked inside the Top 20 was 28 March 2005 with No. 4 Marat Safin, No. 15 Nikolay Davydenko and No. 19 Mikhail Youzhny.

8. Medvedev on the Move: This is the fifth straight Grand Slam tournament for which Medvedev has improved his seeding position (11-4 seeded):

 Tournament  Seed  Result
 2020 Australian Open  No. 4  ?
 2019 US Open  No. 5  Runner-Up
 2019 Wimbledon  No. 11  Third Round
 2019 Roland Garros  No. 12  First Round
 2019 Australian Open  No. 15  Fourth Round

Last season, Medvedev led the ATP Tour in tour-level match wins (59) and finals (9), winning a career-best four titles.

9. Aussie Title Hopes: The last Australian man to win the Australian Open was Mark Edmondson in 1976. This is the longest current drought by a home country Grand Slam tournament. Leading the way is No. 2 Aussie Nick Kyrgios, ranked No. 26 and a 2015 Australian Open quarter-finalist. He came into Melbourne ranked No. 52 last year and lost to former World No. 3 Milos Raonic in the first round. No. 1 Aussie Alex de Minaur withdrew due to an abdominal injury.

10. Bryan Brothers Make Farewell: Six-time Australian Open doubles champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan make their final appearance in Melbourne. They have won the most Grand Slam doubles titles as a team (16) and have the most tour-level match wins (1,102) together in the Open Era. They have finished as the No. 1 team a record 10 times.

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