Novak Djokovic remains the clear favorite to win the 2023 Australian Open. The former world number 1 is back in Melbourne after last year’s bad soap opera, which led to his expulsion from the country. The Serbian phenomenon made his debut on Tuesday at the Rod Laver Arena, defeating the Spanish Roberto Carballes Baena without problems.
The latter managed to engage Nole only in the first two sets, while in the third he scraped together a measly four points overall. We recall that the 35-year-old from Belgrade is hunting for his tenth ‘Down Under’ title, which would allow him to match Rafael Nadal at 22 Grand Slams.
The ‘Djoker’ had slipped two lengths back in 2022 due to his vaccination status, however limiting the damage thanks to his seventh Wimbledon triumph. Novak’s draw doesn’t present any impossible obstacles, especially after the sensational forfeit of the host Nick Kyrgios.
The Australian has not resolved the knee injury and will have to undergo surgery in the next few days. In an interview with ‘Stadium Astro’, Vasek Pospisil admitted that he is rooting for Djokovic at the AO.
Pospisil praises Djokovic
“I hope Novak Djokovic wins it,” Pospisil told Stadium Astro.
“I would consider him the favorite, absolutely. If you have to pick a favorite, it’s hard to pick someone else. Having said that, obviously there are so many great players and incredible talents put together for one week. Obviously, just him being Rafa, clearly he’s got a great chance of winning as well, and it would have to be right up there.
Right below Novak as favorite I would say,” the Canadian added. Tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes that Novak Djokovic is far from his best level heading into the 2023 Australian Open. “Novak has won a tournament again, just like that.
It sounds amazing, even more considering that was his 34th consecutive win in Australia since 2018. But he is still far from his best level. Despite incredible support from the crowd, his level of play is linked with being a very emotional situation, him going back to Australia after what happened last year.
How will he feel once in Melbourne, we will see.” Djokovic revealed that if he held grudges then he wouldn’t have returned to Australia. “I mean, in a way, if I do hold the grudges, probably if I’m not able to move on, I wouldn’t be here.
Also, I have to say that the amount of positive experiences I had in Australia overwhelmed the negative experience maybe of last year,” he said.
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