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Djokovic sets sight on record-breaking seventh Australian Open 

rehaan díaz
152   //    12 Jan 2019, 17:11 IST

Djokovic is one of the favourites for the title this year
Djokovic is one of the favorites for the title this year

The season's first Grand Slam gets underway in Melbourne on Monday and World No.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic has set his eyes on a record seventh Australian Open crown. The top three seeds are Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who have won 13 Australian Opens between them.

They have also combined for the last eight consecutive Grand Slam championships. Djokovic and Federer are currently tied with six titles apiece in the Open Era. However, this appears to be the best chance for a breakthrough from the new brigade led by Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem.

Meanwhile Federer, the third seed is the double defending champion after his surprise form early 2017 and 2018 landed him the title. He is jostling for a three-peat and can match Djokovic's Open Era record by winning his third consecutive Australian Open crown. 

Federer told the Sunday Age he was well-placed for this campaign, with no fitness issues, but he declared that this Open was totally up for grabs.

‘‘Last year I also came in not expecting to defend again. In a way I also feel again, you know, it’s totally up for grabs again. I don’t think you can put me massive favourite. If you can put anybody as a big favourite, I think it would be Novak – or Rafa if he’s, you know, fully fully fit. You know, but only the first couple of matches will show where his level’s at. To my side, I just hope to be in the mix when it comes down the stretch.’’

This Australian Open could have a potential quarter-finals line up of Novak Djokovic going against Kei Nishikori, Alexander Zverev facing Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer going head to head with Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal playing Kevin Anderson, if the matches go to form. It is all set-up tantalizingly for the first Grand Slam of the season.