With an emphatic 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Donald Young at the Australian Open on Tuesday, Novak Djokovic reminded us all what he’s capable of when he’s healthy—and nowhere is he more dangerous than at the Australian Open.
Here are five reasons Djokovic can win the Australian Open:
1. He’s won more Australian Open titles than any other man in the Open Era
Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title as a 20-year-old at the 2008 Australian Open and has won five more titles here in the last seven years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016). His six titles are an Open Era record and tie Roy Emerson’s all-time record (he won in 1961 and from 1963 to 1967).
2. He’s only lost two matches here in the last seven years
Since 2011, Djokovic has won 41 of 43 matches at the Australian Open, and the two players who beat him had to battle at least four hours to do it. Stan Wawrinka needed 4:00 to beat him 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarterfinals in 2014, and Denis Istomin needed 4:49 to beat him 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the second round in 2017. Djokovic won more points in both of those matches.
3. He’s not intimidated by the rest of the Big Four here
Djokovic has winning records against every other member of the Big Four at this event: he’s 1-0 against Rafael Nadal, 3-1 against Roger Federer and 5-0 against Andy Murray. He won’t need to worry about Murray this year, but he could play Federer in the semis and Nadal in the final.
4. If he gets a lead, he’s even more unstoppable here
The 12-time Grand Slam champion is 54-2 at the Australian Open after winning the first set, his only two losses coming against Andy Roddick in the 2009 quarterfinals (he won the first set and would eventually retire in the fourth set due to heat illness) and Wawrinka in the 2014 quarterfinals.
Djokovic is an even scarier 45-0 at the Australian Open after winning the first two sets.
5. Even if he’s having a really down day Down Under, he could still pull out the win
Playing Gilles Simon in a fourth-round match in 2016, Djokovic hit a whopping 100 unforced errors and won. He escaped with a 6-3 ,6-7 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory against the former world No.6.