After finishing a season as the men’s world number one for a record eighth time in his career, the chasing pack is all trying to figure out how to knock Novak Djokovic off his stride in 2024.
The signs are ominous for his rivals going into the new season, with the veteran signing off 2023 on a high and looking strong going into the new campaign. Can anyone deny Djokovic more Grand Slam glory over the next 12 months?
Djokovic Provides Timely Turin Reminder
A sixth career victory at the ATP Finals in Turin in November was a timely reminder to all Djokovic’s rivals that the 36-year-old has no plans on letting up anytime soon. He produced an impressive run on his way to winning the final in three sets. The Serbian star is currently priced at odds +110, for those who are betting on tennis, to win the 2024 Australian Open.
That run in Turin saw Djokovic extend his winning streak to 19 consecutive matches and confirmed he would be world number one going into the new year.
Having equaled the great Roger Federer’s tally of six ATP Final titles, Djokovic will be determined to surpass the Swiss icon next season. Few would bet against the man from Belgrade, as he has demonstrated time and again how formidable he can be on hard courts.
The hard surface has proven to be his most fancied over the years and the veteran will be looking forward to returning to the hard courts at the Australian Open in January. Since turning pro back in 2003, Djokovic has managed to win the Aussie Open on 10 occasions. The 24-time Grand Slam champion will have his eyes firmly set on another title in Melbourne and will take some stopping to be denied an 11th Australian Open crown.
Chasing Pack Determined To Deny Dominant Djokovic
There are a host of experienced players who will be hoping they can produce some special weeks to claim at least one of the Grand Slams in 2024. Djokovic was close to completing a clean sweep of the titles this year but just fell short of the feat, with defeat in the final at Wimbledon.
Trying to knock Djokovic off his stride early in the season will be a big ask at the Australian Open but Daniil Medvedev can be in the mix in the first Grand Slam of the year. The Russian has reached the final on two occasions, only to suffer defeat at the hands of Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Medvedev knows what it takes to win hold his nerve and win a Grand Slam title, having previously won the US Open in 2021. It was Djokovic who Medvedev faced in that final at Flushing Meadows and the underdog came out on top to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Having that experience under his belt will hold Medvedev in good stead as he looks to land that so-far elusive second Grand Slam title.
One player who has not struggled for Grand Slam glory is Djokovic’s old rival Nadal. The Spaniard, who has 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, has endured a year to forget, with a hip injury sustained in the 2023 Australian Open seeing him ruled out for the remainder of the season.
However, there have been positive noises coming out of the Nadal camp suggesting he will be fit to feature at the 2024 Australian Open. It might well be the last time Nadal is seen at the Melbourne event, with suggestions this could be the 37-year-old’s last season. Nadal would love nothing more than to leave the Aussie Open on a high.
After such a strong year for the world number one, challengers to Djokovic’s spot at the top of the world rankings will know they will have to do something special to stop the Serbian star from adding to his Grand Slam collection in 2024.