USC names athletics venue after Olympic legend
At the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic can win a 10th title and a tie at the Australian Open men’s record Rafael Nadal for the most major men’s singles titles in history.
Djokovic was PointsBet Sportsbook’s pre-tournament favorite although he was ranked fourth after missing the Australian Open and US Open last year due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 shot.
His stock in Melbourne only increased after defending champion and top-seeded Nadal was injured and ousted in the second round by the American. mackenzie mcdonald. The next day, the No. 2 seed, Norwegian Casper Ruudwas eliminated by the American Jenson Brooksby.
Djokovic has won three consecutive Australian Opens after a fourth-round loss in 2018. He is trying to close in on the overall record of 11 Australian Open singles titles held by Court of Margaret and become the second man to win a major tournament 10 times.
The other man to do so is of course Nadal, who has 14 Roland-Garros crowns. Nadal also holds the men’s record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles in total, only one ahead of Djokovic.
Last year, Nadal won the Australian Open after a chronic foot injury left him in doubt about returning to tennis. He also overcame foot problems to win the French Open and then reach the Wimbledon semi-finals before retiring with a torn abdominal muscle.
Starting with his fourth round loss at the US Open, Nadal went 1-6 in his seven matches leading up to the Australian Open. He beat jack draper in the first round this year but was swept away by McDonald amid a hip injury in round two.
This is the first Australian Open since Roger Federeris retired. Also absent: the injured world No. 1 and US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who at 19 became the youngest male Grand Slam champion since Nadal’s maiden title at the 2005 French Open.
Seed #3 Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece, a three-time Australian Open semi-finalist, is now the highest seed in the draw. He is in the opposite half to Djokovic.
FOLLOWING: Women’s Australian Open draw
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