Australian Open 2016: Novak Djokovic starts as favourite after incredible 2015
After a gap of few months, we are back again to the first Grand Slam of the year. Unlike women's tennis, there's not much unpredictability in the men's section when it comes to majors.
Last year, Novak Djokovic was nothing less than sensational where he won three Grand Slams. Stanislas Wawrinka's French Open title was another highlight of the year. While Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal struggled with inconsistent performances, Federer was back to his best.
Here are five male contenders for the Australian Open title:
Novak Djokovic: The Serb had an incredible 2015, where he won three Grand Slams. His only loss in a major came against Stanislas Wawrinka in the French Open final, which also shattered his dream of completing a calendar slam. Djokovic's consistency was hailed by the legends of the game and the 26-year-old would be keen to start the new season with a bang. Another title at Melbourne Park would put Nole on equal terms with Roy Emerson for most Australian Open titles (six).
Roger Federer: At a time when players like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are struggling to meet the demands of modern-day tennis, the Swiss legend continues to show why is he regarded as the finest tennis player ever. Had it not been for Djokovic, Federer would have added many more Grand Slams to his tally of 17. Federer lost in Wimbledon and US Open final against Djokovic last year. His hunger to play quality tennis remains unmatched and under new coach Ivan Ljubicic, the four-time champion would look to win another trophy.
Stanislas Wawrinka: If there is one player on this planet who knows the secret to decode Djokovic in a high-voltage encounter, it's Stan The Man! The Swiss stunned Djokovic in the French Open final last year after the Serb had done all the hard work to end Rafa's incredible reign at Roland Garros to reach the final. Wawrinka won his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open and he remains one of the hot favorites for the title.
Rafael Nadal: The aggression has reduced, the forehand winner is no more tennis' most lethal shot and there are serious question marks over his fitness as well. But despite his inconsistency in the last few years, it would be foolish to rule out Nadal as one of the top contenders for the title. Nadal is coming off a defeat to Djokovic in the Qatar Open final but he is known to be a different player in Grand Slams and writing him off would be the last thing in the minds of his opponents.
Andy Murray: The Scot, despite being one of the most consistent players at the Rod Laver Arena, is yet to win a maiden Australian Open title. Murray has been finalist at the Australian Open on four occasions and he lost to Djokovic yet again last year. The World No. 2 is coming off a strong year, which included a Davis Cup victory for Britain and can't be ruled out as a contender for the title.