Novak Djokovic winning tenth Australian Open not a dead certainty
Casper Ruud insists there are plenty of players capable of stopping Novak Djokovic on his march to a tenth Australian Open.
Djokovic stands on the brink of history as he chases a record-extending title in Melbourne.
Ruud believes that the enormity of the milestone might be something that plays on Djokovic’s mind.
“It’s a big number!” Ruud told Eurosport.
“Let’s see how he deals with it because it’s something, to get to 10, I can only imagine and it’s something to actually tie the record of Rafa, so there’s a lot at stake.
“He has not been a guy known for choking, to put it this way, or letting these things get into his head, but I think it’s a different situation chasing a record, and actually setting and tying a record could be different.”
Ruud feels that one of the younger generation of players could just be the one to stop Djokovic’s charge to a 22nd Grand Slam title.
“He is the favourite but there are other players that have the potential to beat him, to win,” he said.
“He has shown himself to be somewhat not human Down Under lately in previous years. But you know, at the end of last year, he did lose a couple of matches – at the Laver Cup he lost to Felix [Auger-Aliassime] and in Bercy, he lost to Holger [Rune].
“He is human as well. We are not all robots, but at times he is the closest that you can get to a robot, I think.
“So let’s see if the younger generation can try to push him a little bit this year because that would be motivating for the younger guys. If you can deal with Novak and play well with him at the Australian Open, it would mean that you’re doing something right.”
Djokovic opens his Australian Open campaign against Spanish journeyman Roberto Carballés Baena with the winner of that match going on to face either Enzo Couacaud or Hugo Dellien.
The first seed Djokovic can face in Melbourne is No 27 Grigor Dimitrov who is a potential third round opponent for the Serb.
Ruud meanwhile, anchors the draw as the No 2 seed and will face Czech Tomas Machac to kick things off in Melbourne.
The Australian Open gets underway on Monday 16 January and will culminate with the men’s singles final on 29 January.
Watch every match from the Australian Open live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport.
Coco Gauff breaks through another prize money barrier with latest win in China
Coco Gauff is second on the prize money list in the women’s game in 2023.
WATCH: Agonising default in Shanghai as ball smashes into umpire at high speed
Polmans his out-of-control swipe had desperate consequences as he smashed the ball at the chair umpire and was given an instant default.
Australian Open chiefs announce huge schedule change for first Grand Slam of 2024
The new Sunday start will see an increase in the number of sessions across the three arenas from 47 to 52.
Will Novak Djokovic play until 2028 if his Olympic dream is shattered in Paris?
Will Novak Djokovic play at the 2028 Olympics?
Why did Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy break up with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki?
Rory McIlroy broke up with Caroline Wozniacki just as they started making wedding plans in 2014.
Coco Gauff gets fired up to prove her haters wrong again
Coco Gauff thrives on proving the haters wrong.
Iga Swiatek backs WTA in contentious performance bye rule change
Iga Swiatek feels that the performance byes are a good thing.
Jannik Sinner not at 100 per cent while Carlos Alcaraz has ‘extra confidence’ ahead of Beijing showdown
Carlos Alcaraz has ‘extra confidence’ as he prepares to face Jannik Sinner.
Carlos Alcaraz’s comments reveal killer mindset as he beats Casper Ruud in China
Carlos Alcaraz suggested he sent a big psychological message to Casper Ruud early in their match in China.
Former Wimbledon champion on why Carlos Alcaraz is no match for Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are battling to claim the year-end No 1 ranking on the ATP Tour.