Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg stated that nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is the favorite for the ongoing 2023 Australian Open and claimed that it was his title to lose in Melbourne.
Despite his hamstring issues, the Serb reached the Australian Open quarterfinals without much fuss and displayed his best performance against home favorite Alex De Minaur, dispatching him in straight sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in the Round of 16 to move to the last eight.
"It does seem that way, yes, for sure. Now, Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, and he's been in pretty imposing form so far, especially in his last round, playing against an Australian player who was a bit critical of him during last year's whole vaccination deportation saga," he said.
"That seemed to really be a clear stop on Djokovic's revenge tour. He won 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in his most dominant performance in a long time," added the journalist.
He continued that the 21-time Grand Slam was clearly the player to beat in the remaining matches at the Australian Open while claiming that his hamstring injury may not be hampering his game.
"So Djokovic seems to be the guy to beat. He has had a lingering hamstring injury, which people are keeping an eye on, but it clearly didn't seem to be holding him back much in that last match," he remarked.
"I always believe I can go all the way in terms of my tennis"- Novak Djokovic
The 21-time Major winner revealed that he never doubts his abilities on the court and goes all in every time he plays.
"Tonight, the way I played, the way I felt, gives me reason now to believe that I can go all the way. I mean, I always believe I can go all the way in terms of my tennis," he said in his post-match press conference.
Despite being the only Grand Slam winner remaining in the draw, the 35-year-old refused to discount his upcoming opponents.
"Being the only guy remaining in the tournament that has won a Grand Slam, of course, flatters me but I don't think it's going to make too big of a difference, to be honest. Maybe it will to some extent, I mean, for me, but maybe not for the other guys. I don't know," he added.