Kings of Melbourne

Raz Mirza

Comment & Analysis @RazMirza

The Australian Open 2020 starts on Monday, January 20. We will be bringing you live blogs, match reports and reaction throughout the tournament

Last Updated: 14/01/20 12:01am

Novak Djokovic is the current ruler of the Australian Open
Novak Djokovic is the current ruler of the Australian Open

We look back at some of the greatest-ever Australian Open men’s singles champions from yesteryear.

Novak Djokovic – winner in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2019

The former world No 1 is the irresistible force and the immovable object when it comes to the Plexicushion of Rod Laver Arena.

He is a record seven-time winner in Melbourne, including six titles in the last decade. The Serb is also the scourge of Britain’s Andy Murray, having beaten him four times in finals.

Djokovic, whose last Grand Slam title came at Wimbledon in 2019, is a 16-time Grand Slam champion and returns to Australia as favourite to lift an eighth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

Roger Federer – winner in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 & 2018

A six-time winner of the Australian Open, it looks as though he would never win another title in Melbourne after 2010 when he defeated Andy Murray in straight sets.

But the resurgent Swiss turned back the clock to defeat old foe Rafael Nadal in a five-set classic in ’17 before retaining his title a year later against Marin Cilic.

Will he win a record-extending 21st major at the age of 38 this year?

Rafael Nadal – winner in 2009

Incredibly the current world No 1 enjoyed his sole success in Melbourne way back in 2009 when he beat great rival Federer in a five-set thriller.

He is also a four-time runner-up at the tournament, including twice in the previous three years.

Nadal is just one Grand Slam short of Federer’s mark. Can he win in Australia for the first time in 11 years? His current form suggests he has every chance.

Marat Safin – winner in 2005

The Russian ace was twice a runner-up before he finally tasted success, upsetting home favourite Lleyton Hewitt.

Andre Agassi – winner in 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2003

The great American defeated rival Pete Sampras to win his first Australian Open title. He had to wait five years for his next and he won three in the space of four years.

Mats Wilander – winner in 1983, 1984 and 1988

The Swedish star, turned commentator, defeated Ivan Lendl, Kevin Curran before upsetting home favourite Pat Cash 8-6 in the deciding set to claim the last of his three titles.

Ivan Lendl – winner in 1989 and 1990

Andy Murray’s former coach won back-to-back titles in Melbourne. He was also a finalist in 1983 and 1991.

Boris Becker – winner in 1991 and 1996

The German was famous for becoming the youngest men’s singles champion at Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of 17. He defeated rival Lendl to win his first title in Melbourne before seeing off American Michael Chang five years later.

Jim Courier – winner in 1992 and 1993

Another player turned successful commentator is the American, who won back-to-back titles, with both victories coming against Sweden’s Stefan Edberg.

Pete Sampras – winner in 1997 and 1994

‘Pistol Pete’ won 14 Grand Slam title during his illustrious career but only two of them came in Australia. The dominant American who was known for his all-court game defeated compatriot Todd Martin and Spaniard Carlos Moya for his successes.

Stefan Edberg – winner in 1985 and 1987

The dynamic Edberg won the Swedish derby against Mats Wilander in ’85 before holding aloft the trophy again two years later when he beat Pat Cash. He was also a runner-up three times in the early 1990s.

Thomas Johansson – winner in 2002

Johansson was the last Swedish success in Melbourne when he beat Marat Safin. In all, the Swedes have scooped six men’s singles titles at the Australian Open with five in a row between 1983 and 1988. That might have been seven had there been a tournament in 1986.

Mark Edmondson – winner in 1976

Edmondson’s victory is significant in the fact that he was the last Australian to win the men’s singles title in Melbourne. Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and John Newcombe were also Aussie winners in the Open Era, but after a wait of 44 years, can Nick Kyrgios finally end the hurt in 2020?

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Source : Sky Sports