Roger Federer Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2016
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are expected to clash in the semifinals of the 2016 Australian OpenReuters

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams – if they do not win the men's singles and women's singles titles at the Australia Open 2016, it will be quite a surprise.

Such was the dominance of both these players in 2015, that anything less than the title will be seen as failure for both of them. The two best tennis players in the world in their category look primed for the Grand Slam battle, with Djokovic, in particular, looking like his unstoppable self again.

The manner in which Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the Qatar Open final a week ago showed the Serbian is still very much at the top of his game, and any hope the 10-time Grand Slam champion might take his eye off the ball a little after that stupendous, record-breaking 2015, remains unfounded. The Australian Open is Djokovic's favourite Grand Slam, having won it five times already, and smart money will be on him adding a sixth crown to his name.

Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka and Nadal are the men most likely to push Djokovic, the defending champion, but if the Serbian brings his A-game in those seven matches, there is only going to be one winner.

Djokovic is likely to meet Federer in the semifinals of the Australian Open 2016, with both players drawn in the same half. The other side sees Murray, Nadal and Wawrinka, with the Brit likely to meet one of the two in the semis.

"I would think the Australian Open is the one where players come in maybe most inspired," the 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer told the Australian Open's official website. "It's also been my most consistent Slam maybe until last year. I always played very well here. I don't know if it's the conditions or the court speed. It's a good place for me to start the year.

"Last year I did quite well against Novak. Of course, I got to keep it up. I always believe there's new things you can learn, but there's always sometimes a way of staying motivated, staying hungry."

Serena Williams Australian Open title
Defending champion Serena Williams is the favourite to clinch the women's singles crown at the Australian Open 2016Reuters

Staying hungry and wanting another major title will be the key for Serena, whose preparations haven't exactly been the greatest, with injuries stopping the American from playing in some of the lead-up tournaments. However, such is the 34-year-old's talent and dominance at the moment, that you would not want to bank on anyone else lifting that title, even if Maria Sharapova has been drawn in the same half.

"I'm at 120, 130% right now," Serena revealed when asked about her fitness. "You know, this week, the weeks leading up, have been a lot of work.

"I've had a really good preparation. I mean, I didn't have the match play that I've wanted to have. But after playing for so many years on tour, I should be able to, you know, focus on that [experience] and the fact that I have played a lot of matches."

In Indian interest, much of the focus will be on the women's doubles and mixed doubles. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis are in stunning form at the moment, and having clinched the last two Grand Slams of last year, the world number one pair will be the favourites to lift their first Australian Open title as a team.

The same can be said of Hingis and Leander Paes as well, with the mixed doubles pair looking near unbeatable every time they have gone out on court together. In the men's doubles, Paes will look to get over his recent slump, while Rohan Bopanna will be confident of going deep with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea.

In the men's singles, Yuki Bhambri, in his first main draw of a Grand Slam, will have to play the best match of his career to beat Tomas Berdych in the first round.

Australian Open 2016 schedule: First round: Monday, 18 January and Tuesday, 19 January.

Time: Morning session: 11 am AEDT (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET).

Night session: 7 pm AEDT (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET).

Second round: Wednesday, 20 January and Thursday, 21 January.

Time: Morning session: 11 am AEDT (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET).

Night session: 7 pm AEDT (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET).

Third round: Friday, 22 January and Saturday, 23 January.

Time: Morning session: 11 am AEDT (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET).

Night session: 7 pm AEDT (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET).

Fourth round: Sunday, 24 January and Monday, 25 January.

Time: Morning session: 11 am AEDT (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET).

Night session: 7 pm AEDT (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET).

Quarterfinals: Tuesday, 26 January and Wednesday, 27 January.

Time: Morning session: 11 am AEDT (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET).

Night session: 7 pm AEDT (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET).

Semifinals: Women's singles: Thursday, 28 January.

Time: 1.30 pm AEDT (8 am IST, 2.30 am GMT, 9.30 pm ET).

First men's singles semifinal: 7.30 pm AEDT (2 pm IST, 8.30 am GMT, 3.30 am ET).

Women's doubles final: Friday, 29 January:

Time: 4 pm AEDT (10.30 am IST, 5 am GMT, 12 am ET).

Second men's singles semifinal: Friday, 29 January.

Time: 7.30 pm AEDT (2 pm IST, 8.30 am GMT, 3.30 am ET).

Women's singles final: Saturday, 30 January.

Time: 7.30 pm AEDT (2 pm IST, 8.30 am GMT, 3.30 am ET).

Followed by Men's doubles final.

Mixed doubles final: Sunday, 31 January.

Time: 4 pm AEDT (10.30 am IST, 5 am GMT, 12 am ET).

Men's singles final: Sunday, 31 January.

Time: 7.30 pm AEDT (2 pm IST, 8.30 am GMT, 3.30 am ET).

TV listings: India and the rest of the subcontinent: Sony Six and Sony ESPN. Australia: Channel Seven. UK: BBC and Eurosport. Europe: Eurosport. USA: ESPN. Middle East and North Africa: Bein Sports. South Korea and South East Asia: Fox Sports. China: CCTV, GSM and IQIYI. Japan: WOWOW.

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