The 2023 Australian Open officially begins on Sunday and the biggest storyline is the return of Novak Djokovic, who missed last year’s tournament after refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The Aussie government ultimately allowed him to come back into the country despite previously banning him, with the Serb now eyeing his 22nd Grand Slam title. If he gets it done Down Under, Nole would tie Rafael Nadal for the most Major trophies ever. By no surprise, that’s a motivating factor for the world No. 5 ahead of the tournament.
Via ATP Tour:
“Of course, it is. I mean, that’s why I keep on playing professional tennis, competition tennis, because I want to be the best, I want to win the biggest tournaments in the world. There is no secret about it,” Novak Djokovic said. “It doesn’t get bigger than this. You have four Slams that historically have been the biggest events in our sport. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why I was really looking forward to come back to Australia: because of my record here. I really love playing in Rod Laver Arena, particularly night sessions. I’ve had plenty of success that hopefully can continue this year.”
Djokovic has won nine times at Melbourne Park in his prestigious career and will be looking to make it 10. He’s been in fine form over the last number of months too, winning titles in Astana, Tel Aviv, and Turin. Nole also comes into the Aussie Open with tons of momentum, having just won the Adelaide International, beating Sebastien Korda in the final. He took down Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals as well.
Novak Djokovic will face Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, while Nadal takes on Englishman Jack Draper. Rafa is the defending champ in Melbourne, but Nole is playing fantastic tennis at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see if one of them lifts the ultimate prize.