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Federer or Djokovic: Who will become King in Australia?

| 14.01.2019

We can get a record-breaker at the Australian Open

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are aiming for the same record in Australia this month.

Both are multiple grand-slam winners, but they now go in search of a record-breaking seventh Australian Open title.

Top-ranked Djokovic and defending champion Federer enter the season-opening major equal with Roy Emerson on six Aussie Open wins.

They’ve been drawn in opposite sides of the tournament, which could see the pair lock horns in a straight shoot-out in the final.

Federer and Djokovic will already go down among the greats, but we take a look who could make history down under…

Roger Federer

The best there ever was? The GOAT some even call him. But what isn’t in doubt is he’s the defending champion going into this one.

Federer has had a glittering career including eight-Wimbledon victories.

An outright final win at 9/2 would also take him to 100 career single titles. The Swiss spoke to the Washington Post about the historic feat: “I’m so close, I’ll give it a go,” Federer said. “If I made 100 at the Australian I’d take it, I’d gladly accept it — and I’ll give it all I have.”

He opens up against Denis Istomin – who he’s beaten in all six of their previous meetings.

The 37-year-old’s bottom half of the draw does include second-seed Rafael Nadal. It also features a potential match-up with Marin Cilic, where Federer could also come unstuck.

He may be the veteran of the locker room but the immortal technician could rise to one more challenge.

Novak Djokovic

In the other half of the draw, Djokovic takes advantage of his top-dog status by opening against American-qualifier Mitchell Kreuger.

The number one-seed is the 6/5 favourite to take the gong and write himself into the history books.

At 31-years-old, he’s six years Federer’s junior which could be the decisive edge in an era of small margins.

Djokovic’s second-round would get a little harder with a projected tie against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

But it would be in the quarter-finals where things hot up in Australia. Eighth-seed Kei Nishikori has beaten him twice and played out an epic five-setter at Wimbledon last year.

A semi-final against Alexander Zverev looks likely. If Djoker is to keep the record alive he’ll have to avenge the ATP World Tour Final defeat.

Zverev also beat the Serbian on clay in Rome two years ago. But Djokovic has shown, amid injury and arguably the greatest era of men’s tennis that he’s got the staying power to remain on top.

The win would seal his place as one of the sport’s greats.

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Charlie Dear