Australian Open: More maturity needed for next-gen stars says Novak Djokovic


The air isn't quite as carbon stained on the eve of the Australian Open as it was earlier in the week when a thick haze of smoke hovered over Melbourne Park.

The fact remains that you have to go back a decade and 41 slams to find a player aged under 25 (Juan Martin del Potro) outside the big three who has won a major. Her drought without a title of any sort just ended, though, right before the start of the Australian Open.

"Luckily they have three closed courts with the roof". You can see them all at SportsLine.

The Swiss great crashed last year in the fourth-round to Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is 17 years his junior. Williams, who is seeded eighth, is scheduled to face Anastasia Potapova of Russian Federation in the day's second match in Rod Laver Arena, after defending champion Naomi Osaka takes on Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, and before Roger Federer meets Steve Johnson of the U.S.

- Petra Kvitova lost in the final of the Australian Open a year ago, the only time she went further than the quarter-finals in her last 19 grand slam appearances, since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

Nadal said he also consulted tournament officials and was content with their explanation, but other players were more forthright in their criticism.

While Nadal has his first chance to equal Federer, Serena Williams will have an eighth chance here to tie the women's record set by Margaret Court, who won 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

On her feet, the legendary Grand Slam victor moved easily in Nike sneakers; the lilac and green-accented set of tennis shoes feature a textured outsole and a subtle signature on the inside upper.

British player Liam Broady said having to play his first-round qualifier on the same day "made his blood boil", adding he was "gasping for air" as he lost to Belarusian Ilya Ivashka. Smoke that reached the tournament site affected some players during qualifying last week, but has been dissipating.

While many are tipping Serena Williams to triumph in Australia and equal the all time record for most number of Grand Slam titles now held by Margaret Court, one former World No. 1 and tennis expert says while it may be hard for her to win another Slam, she would not write her off either due to her champion mentality. Djokovic sits third with 16. I'm coming into the first Grand Slam of the year with a smile on my face.

- Federer won his sixth Australian Open title in 2018, 14 years after his first win at the event; no player has won multiple Australian Open titles over a longer period in the Open Era. "It's really the way we approach career and our everyday life", Djokovic said during a news conference before the year's first Grand Slam tournament begins Monday (Sunday EST). Now comes her second such effort and this one will come with a new coach at her side - and her fourth in the past year - Wim Fissette, who has worked with players such as Kim Clijsters and Angelique Kerber in the past. That's why I got to take it one match at a time. "But she is a very quick learner with everything she does".

When Osaka triumphed at last year's Australian Open, she looked set to reign over the women's game.

"If the doctor says it's not a problem, why we don't go to play?"

Mental and emotional maturity: the "big three" have it and perhaps the next generation of tennis stars simply don't.

John McEnroe, a seven-time Slam singles victor who's now a commentator for ESPN, said the top three remain favorites despite the advances made by young challengers such as No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev, who lost a thrilling five-set final to Nadal at last year's U.S. Open.



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