It was already 12 years ago when 7-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne.

20-year-old Djokovic played Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the 2008 Australian Open. He outplayed Benjamin Becker, Bolelli, Querrey, Hewitt, Ferrer, and Federer in the previous rounds without losing a set. Although, the Serbian did not start the final against Tsonga ideally when he lost the first set 4-6. From that moment, Djokovic won all 3 sets, to raise his first Grand Slam trophy.

During his career, he managed to win 6 more times in Melbourne. In 2016, he has won his only title at the Roland Garros. And added 5 more titles at the Wimbledon and 3 more in Flushing Meadows. Djokovic is the ATP Tour Finals winner as well when he dominated in years 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

At the 2020 Australian Open, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic is the main contender for the title. Novak will be facing Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. After the draw was announced, the German player was really sad to play Novak in the first round as it is a huge obstacle for no. 37 in the ATP Ranking.

“God, why? Why that?” Struff remembered thinking to himself. “It’s one of the draws you don’t want to get first round. I felt like, ‘Yeah, okay. Why not?’ It’s a big match, a big court. I’m playing the second night match, so special. I played against Rog here. Still have it in my mind. It was just an amazing experience. Really looking forward to playing that match on Rod Laver,” Struff told ATPTour.com.

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Author: Erik Virostko