Djokovic poised to resume global domination

Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:09am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic spent 2015 relentlessly trampling on the hopes and dreams of would-be challengers and the world number one again looms as the reality check to their new season ambitions when the Australian Open gets underway on Monday.

The defending champion will start as raging favorite for a sixth title at the year's first grand slam, continuing the domination of men's tennis that saw the Serb win 11 titles last year and three of the four majors.

Beating the red-hot world number one is a task anywhere. Stopping him at his Melbourne Park fortress is becoming virtually impossible.

Stan Wawrinka managed it in a classic quarter-final in 2014, the Swiss ending Djokovic's bid for a fourth consecutive title before going on to claim the trophy for himself.

Some suggested Wawrinka's breakthrough heralded the end of the dominance of the 'Big Four', the annual parceling of grand slams between Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray.

And while Wawrinka denied Djokovic a calendar grand slam with victory in last season's French Open final, the Serb has all but carved up the men's game for himself.

Fatherhood has not slowed Djokovic's pursuit of silverware and at the age of 28, the best may be yet to come.

His straight sets demolition of Nadal in this month's Qatar Open final was praised as "perfection" by the Spaniard and Djokovic admitted seeing the ball "as a watermelon".   Continued...

Current Australian Open Men's and Women's champions Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams of the U.S. laugh as they carry their trophies as they arrive for the official draw ceremony at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 15, 2016.    REUTERS/David Gray