October 23, 2021

Kings of the Australian Open

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The Australian Open starts on Monday, February 8 with world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal and ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev among the favourites. We will be bringing you live blogs, match reports and reaction throughout the tournament in Melbourne

Last Updated: 31/01/21 5:33pm

Novak Djokovic is the reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is the reigning Australian Open champion

Novak Djokovic is the reigning Australian Open champion

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

Novak Djokovic – winner in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019 & 2020

Can Djokovic make it nine men's singles titles in Melbourne this year? Can Djokovic make it nine men's singles titles in Melbourne this year?

Can Djokovic make it nine men’s singles titles in Melbourne this year?

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 eight-time winner in Melbourne, including six titles in the previous 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 here last year when he edged Dominic Thiem over five-sets. He is a 17-time Grand Slam champion and returns to Australia as favourite to lift a record-extending ninth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

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

Roger Federer won't be in Melbourne this year due to injury Roger Federer won't be in Melbourne this year due to injury

Roger Federer won’t be in Melbourne this year due to injury

A six-time winner of the Australian Open, it looked 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 back in ’17 before retaining his title a year later against Marin Cilic.

Will he win a 21st major this year? He’ll be turning 40 in August.

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Rafael Nadal – winner in 2009

Rafael Nadal won his one and only title in Melbourne in 2009 Rafael Nadal won his one and only title in Melbourne in 2009

Rafael Nadal won his one and only title in Melbourne in 2009

Incredibly the Spaniard 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 four years at Melbourne Park.

The Spaniard beat Roger Federer in four hours and 23 minutes The Spaniard beat Roger Federer in four hours and 23 minutes

The Spaniard beat Roger Federer in four hours and 23 minutes

Nadal has already equalled Federer’s Grand Slam mark so can he win in Australia for the first time in 12 years? His current form suggests he has every chance.

Marat Safin – winner in 2005

Marat Safin upset home favourite Lleyton Hewitt to win the title Marat Safin upset home favourite Lleyton Hewitt to win the title

Marat Safin upset home favourite Lleyton Hewitt to win the title

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

Andre Agassi won the Australian Open title four times during his career Andre Agassi won the Australian Open title four times during his career

Andre Agassi won the Australian Open title four times during his career

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

Mats Wilander upset Pat Cash to win the last of his three titles Mats Wilander upset Pat Cash to win the last of his three titles

Mats Wilander upset Pat Cash to win the last of his three titles

The Swedish star turned commentator defeated Ivan Lendl and 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

Ivan Lendl won the last of his Australian Open titles when his opponent Stefan Edberg retired with a stomach injury in the third set Ivan Lendl won the last of his Australian Open titles when his opponent Stefan Edberg retired with a stomach injury in the third set

Ivan Lendl won the last of his Australian Open titles when his opponent Stefan Edberg retired with a stomach injury in the third set

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

Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang to win his two titles in Melbourne Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang to win his two titles in Melbourne

Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang to win his two titles in Melbourne

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

Jim Courier dives in the Yarra River after winning the title in 1993 Jim Courier dives in the Yarra River after winning the title in 1993

Jim Courier dives in the Yarra River after winning the title in 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

Pete Sampras won two of his 14 Grand Slams in Melbourne Pete Sampras won two of his 14 Grand Slams in Melbourne

Pete Sampras won two of his 14 Grand Slams in Melbourne

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

Stefan Edberg – winner in 1985 and 1987

Stefan Edberg was a two-time winner and three-time runner-up at the Australian Open Stefan Edberg was a two-time winner and three-time runner-up at the Australian Open

Stefan Edberg was a two-time winner and three-time runner-up at the Australian Open

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

Thomas Johansson was the last Swede to win the men's singles title Thomas Johansson was the last Swede to win the men's singles title

Thomas Johansson was the last Swede to win the men’s singles title

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

Mark Edmondson was the last Australian to win the men's singles title Mark Edmondson was the last Australian to win the men's singles title

Mark Edmondson was the last Australian to win the men’s singles title

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 45 years, can the mercurial Nick Kyrgios finally end the hurt in 2021?

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