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Australian Open 2023: Who can stop Novak Djokovic winning record-extending 10th title?

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has not lost at the Australian Open since 2018
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 16-29 January
Coverage: Commentary every day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra ‘Tennis Breakfast’ live from Melbourne, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the BBC Sport website & app

Can anyone deny Novak Djokovic a record-extending 10th men’s singles title at the Australian Open?

Only two other top-10 seeds remain at the quarter-final stage, with 2022 champion Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud among those to suffer early exits.

Of those still standing in Melbourne, 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic is the only major winner.

Despite being hampered by a hamstring injury, he has lost only one set in his four matches so far as he looks to make up for lost time after missing last year’s tournament.

The former world number one, who was deported after his visa was cancelled in 2022, has not lost a match at the Australian Open since 2018.

Can anyone stop him this year?

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev celebrates
Andrey Rublev has never advanced beyond the quarter-finals at the Australian Open

Fifth seed Rublev will be the next to try, when he takes on Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

The Russian came back from 5-0 down in a final-set tie-break to beat Danish 19-year-old Holger Rune in the fourth round.

Rublev, 25, is aiming to reach a maiden Grand Slam semi-final but has lost in straight sets in two of his three previous encounters with Djokovic.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates
Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the last eight in Melbourne for the fourth time

Greek third seed Tsitsipas is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw and has reached the semi-final stage in Melbourne in three of the past four years.

The 2021 French Open finalist, 24, had won 11 successive sets before he survived a fightback by Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.

Jiri Lehecka

Jiri Lehecka
Lehecka had not won a Grand Slam match before this tournament but is now through to a first major quarter-final

Awaiting Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals is 21-year-old Czech Lehecka, who had not won a main-draw match at a Grand Slam prior to this tournament.

Knocked out in the first round on his debut at all four Slams last year, he has already caused several upsets in Melbourne by knocking out 21st seed Borna Coric, 11th seed Cameron Norrie and sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov strikes the ball
Karen Khachanov is the current world number 20

Russian 18th seed Khachanov, 26, progressed to the Australian Open last eight in style, recording consecutive bagel sets in a 6-0 6-0 7-6 (7-4) win over Yoshihito Nishioka.

Having never gone beyond the third round at Melbourne Park, Khachanov is aiming to reach his fourth major quarter-final after recording his best Slam result at last year’s US Open by reaching the final four.

Sebastian Korda

Sebastian Korda raises his arms
Sebastian Korda is through to the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the first time

Khachanov will come up against American 29th seed Korda next, following the 22-year-old’s wonderful run to the quarters.

Korda, the son of former Tour-level players Petr and Regina and brother of former women’s world number one golfer Nelly, beat 2022 finalist Daniil Medvedev in the third round before seeing off 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last 16.

Ben Shelton

Ben Shelton taps his racquet
Ben Shelton was ranked world number 569 last year

American Shelton, 20, is the unknown quantity of this year’s Australian Open, reaching the quarter-finals in his first trip outside the United States.

He has already bested his father’s Grand Slam record after Bryan Shelton reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 1994, but the tour newbie has spoken of the freedom he feels having already exceeded expectations in Melbourne.

Shelton, ranked 89th in the world, will take on Tommy Paul in an all-American quarter-final.

Tommy Paul

Tommy Paul celebrates
Unseeded Tommy Paul had lost in the second round in his past two visits to Melbourne

The 2023 Australian Open is already one to remember for Paul, who is enjoying his longest run at a Grand Slam having never previously progressed past the third round.

The 25-year-old world number 35 defeated tour veteran Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets in the fourth round – his second triumph over a seed in Melbourne having earlier beaten another Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in five sets.

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