Melbourne, January 19: Novak Djokovic has already shown fine form this year ahead of facing Jan-Lennard Struff at the Australian Open on Monday (January 20).
A record seven-time champion in Melbourne, the Serbian will take some stopping once again at the year's first grand slam.
Djokovic was strong during the back end of last year, aside from his ATP Finals failure, and has started 2020 impressively.
We take a closer look at where the 16-time major champion is at ahead of his opener.
Form and results
Djokovic led Serbia to ATP Cup success to begin the year, and he did so in style. The 32-year-old recorded singles wins over Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev during that run, while also beating Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson and Christian Garin. If anyone was doubting he would be hard to beat in Australia, those questions were quickly answered.
Awaiting him in the first round is Struff, who would appear one of the trickier tasks given the German is ranked 37th in the world. Struff enjoyed a strong 2019 that included reaching semi-finals in Auckland and Stuttgart and the last eight in Barcelona and Basel, while he stunned Alexander Zverev at Indian Wells. However, Djokovic has enjoyed two straight-sets wins over Struff in their previous two meetings, including a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory at the French Open last year.
Djokovic should encounter few early problems. Wildcard Tatsuma Ito or lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran await if he gets past Struff, while 30th seed Dan Evans could be his third-round opponent.
What he said
"Milestones are definitely a motivation, I think. At the same time they make me proud of what I have achieved in my career. They give even more significance to why I'm competing in professional tennis still. But at the same time, there's some other higher goals that I have kind of as a driving force I think more than any other milestone. But they all are important."