Djokovic poised to scale Grand Slam peak

January 10, 2024 4:06 pm

Novak Djokovic [Source: Reuters]

Novak Djokovic resumes his quest for Grand Slam supremacy at the Australian Open, where the seemingly invincible Serb will be the firm favourite to claim his 25th major singles title and eclipse a record that has stood for half a century.

The 36-year-old enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons of his career in 2023, winning a record-extending 10th crown at the Melbourne major before triumphs at the French and U.S. Opens to go level with Margaret Court on 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

Australian Court won the last of those trophies in 1973 and Djokovic is poised to go past her on his happiest hunting ground, where 12 months ago he braved a political row involving his father and battled through a torn hamstring to prevail.

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Barring a blip in a thrilling Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz and a couple of late-season defeats by another youngster in Jannik Sinner, the world number one was virtually unbeatable last year with little to suggest he will slow down in 2024.

Djokovic has not got off to the best of starts in the new season, suffering his first defeat in Australia in six years at the United Cup mixed team tournament after being hampered by a right wrist issue against Alex de Minaur.

With his 43-match winning run in Australia ended, Djokovic will be fired up to get a head start in his quest for the Golden Slam – winning all four majors and the gold medal at the Olympic Games – to match Steffi Graf’s rare feat in 1988.