Melbourne and the Australian Open will be the site where Roger Federer makes what could be his final legitimate attempt to add to his record of 17 Grand Slam tournament victories.
He has come close on a couple of occasions since winning Wimbledon in 2012, but Novak Djokovic, who seems as though he was genetically engineered for the sole purpose of beating Federer, keeps getting in the way.
Federer has been at it for 17 years now, half of his life, and the youngsters who grew up idolising him and patterning their games to beat him drop all feelings of awe when it comes time to serve it up.
It would be fair to say that Federer’s best chance is for someone to dispose of Djokovic, because Djokovic has won 10 Majors of his own and would like nothing better than to catch Federer for the all-time record.
Federer did manage to supply three of Djokovic’s six match losses in 2015, but losing in the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to him when it truly mattered in terms of a lasting tennis legacy defined by Grand Slam wins was without doubt frustrating to the world’s number three ranked player.
Federer maintains that his pre-season training was not specifically devoted to tactics for dealing with Djokovic, although Djokovic’s blistering returns of serve are a serious threat to Federer’s serve-and-volley style.