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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka Open Their Title Defence

The Australian Open had already started a week ago and several marquee players will look to start the year with a bang by trying to bring home this season’s first Grand Slam title.

Novak Djokovic is fresh off of a win back in the ATP Cup, as he led Serbia to top Spain in the inaugural tournament. The Serbian superstar will defend his title after winning it all in last year’s edition.

For the women’s division, Naomi Osaka will aim to start 2020 on a good note by defending her crown as well. She is hopeful that the new season will bring good fortune especially after suffering a myriad of injuries the last time around.

These two stalwarts will face some tough competition as the race to the top looks wide open more than ever.

 

Novak Djokovic primed to bring home his eighth

Our Australian Open 2020 tips have Novak Djokovic winning.

Djokovic has amassed majority of his Grand Slam titles in Melbourne to where he won it first back in 2008. All in all, Djokovic won the said title seven times.

The Serbian continues his roll last season as he ended the year 2019 with a big win in the inaugural ATP Cup against fellow Big 3 player in Rafael Nadal.

But despite his continuous success, there are still concerns regarding his fitness moving forward. It’s quite possible that he may be fatigued after playing in almost all events last year.

In fact, Djokovic had some shoulder issues and he experienced a little wobble in his first round match against Jan-Lennard Struff.

He did dispel those rumours though by dispatching the German player and he insists that he’s feeling fine ahead of his next match.

“I was exhausted right after but I had seven days to recover and kept my training sessions nice and short and intense,” said Djokovic in a recent interview.

“The good thing about a Grand Slam is that you always have a day to recover. It’s not the first time I am in this situation so I am looking forward to the next round,” he added.

Djokovic’s path to the top looks to be a bit easier compared to his counterparts since he’ll probably get to face a top-tier opponent once he advances to the Final Eight. But even with that, expect the Serb to bring out his A-game every night.

 

Naomi Osaka faces stiff competition

Naomi Osaka eyes for redemption as she battles to defend her title in the 2020 Australian Open
Naomi Osaka returns the ball into Zheng Saisai during their 2020 Australian Open match

In stark contrast to Djokovic, Naomi Osaka’s road for a repeat will be much harder as history suggests since the last person to do so was Serena Williams back in 2009 to 2010.

The women’s division is loaded with stars ranging from young to old, and either one of them can bring home the title in Melbourne.

One of the obvious favourites by SBOTOP fans is Serena Williams as she looks to be in superb form even at 38 years old. She may be hampered by some injuries last year, but we can expect the American to go on a deep run as she tries to win her 24th Grand Slam.

Another player standing in Osaka’s way is the top-ranked Ashleigh Barty. Save for her shocking loss last year in the WTA Finals, the homegrown star has been in fine form after shaking off some nerves in her first round match against Polona Hercog. The motivation to win in front of the home crowd will be something to look forward to as she progresses to the later rounds.

Coco Gauff is probably the underrated pick to advance to as far as the semifinals. After sending Venus Williams packing in her Melbourne debut, she will face a tall order in trying to do the same against Naomi Osaka.

 

Tennis stars paying it forward

In lieu of the bushfires that happened in Australia few weeks ago, several tennis stars went out of their way to make donations for the victims.

For starters, several tennis stars such as Williams, Nadal, and Federer have raised $4.8-M for bushfire relief by holding a charity match. Nick Kyrgios joined in the fray through his NK Foundation to raise money too.

Alexander Zverev also made it to our Australian Open 2020 news when he announced that he will donate “every single cent” of his prize money if he goes on to lift his first major trophy. He has also pledged to give out $10,000 for every match that he’s going to win in the tournament.

“I will donate $10,000 for every match I win here and I know I’m not the favourite to win this event, but I’ll donate every single cent to the bushfire relief fund if I win the title,” proclaimed Zverev.

 

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