The Australian Open got underway on Monday and with it brought the top player in the world to the court. Novak Djokovic cruised through his first-round match to win his 15th straight match in the tournament and he should have no trouble making through this tournament to at least the semifinals. Djokovic is just too good right now and is starting to assemble a run that is very similar to what Roger Federer did a few years ago.
Djokovic played one of the most epic finals in this tournament last year when his match with Rafael Nadal lasted nearly six hours and finished around 2 a.m. Nadal isn’t at this year’s tournament with continued knee problems and with Federer now on the downswing, the path is clear for Djokovic to possibly make a run for the Grand Slam in 2013. The biggest hurdle to this happening is Nadal. Nadal hasn’t played since last year’s Wimbledon but owns the French Open on clay. If Nadal can return for that, Djokovic may have his one major challenge this year.
The sport of men’s tennis has declined in talent over the last decade and with American players not even seeded in the top 16 this year, interest in the tournament is going to wane greatly for fans in the U.S. especially with all the matches being live overnight. This is the year for Djokovic though and no one is going to get in his way on the quest for the Grand Slam. It may be time to see something that we haven’t seen in a long time.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.