Amazing eight awaits Djokovic at Aust Open

World No.2 Novak Djokovic can claim his eighth Australian Open crown when he faces Austrian Dominic Thiem in the final at Melbourne Park.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Other men can play at the Australian Open but they should do so in the knowledge that the tournament now belongs to Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian superstar can claim an amazing eighth title at the season-opening grand slam that he has made his own with a win over Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

"This is Novak's tournament like Rafa with the French Open," Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic told reporters on Saturday.

"Hopefully he is going to be the only one who has won this tournament eight times.

"He just likes it.

"He likes the support from the Serbian community, he likes the court, he likes the weather.

"There is something in that centre court that makes him play better and better tennis ever time he steps on the court."

Ivanisevic said Djokovic was physically and mentally primed for the final after an outstanding preparation that started at the ATP Cup, where he drove Serbia to the title with six wins.

The world No.2 only lost one set on his way to the Open final, but the comfort and confidence he feels at Melbourne Park doesn't mean he's taking Thiem lightly.

The 32-year-old enjoys a 6-4 head-to-head advantage against Thiem but the Austrian world No.5 has won four of their past five matches.

"I love to see him play," Ivanisevic said of Thiem.

"He just goes for his shots. He's not afraid, he believes.

"He's not afraid to hit, even when he is missing he is going harder and harder.

"It's going to be a nice contrast of styles ... Novak is the best defender in the game and Dominic, who likes to just hit every ball."


AAP