Novak Djokovic will want to send out a statement of intent to his rivals with an authoritative victory over Hyeon Chung in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open on Monday.
Djokovic is the overwhelming – and that is an understatement – favourite to clinch his sixth Australian Open crown after a near-perfect 2015, where he won three Grand Slams and pretty much every other tournament he entered in.
The Serbian is, without a doubt, the best player in the world at the moment, with the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal still unable to solve the Djokovic puzzle.
Considering the manner in which the world number one dispatched one of his greatest rivals – Nadal – in the final of the Qatar Open in Doha a week back, Djokovic will be difficult to beat, and expect another comfortable three-set win for the man of the moment in men's tennis.
"The opening week of the year in Doha went extremely well for me," Djokovic told reporters ahead of his opening match in his title defence. "I've been preparing well, taking some time to really work on certain things, get a good foundation, good base for the long season.
"2015 was the best season and best year of my life undoubtedly. I enjoyed every moment spent on the court. I'll try to obviously carry that confidence and high level of performance that I've had, especially towards the end of the year, into the new season.
"I'm here to start from the very beginning, to start from scratch, and see where it takes me."
Where it is likely to take him is to the semifinals, at the very least, where the 10-time Grand Slam champion is expected to run up against the man who has won seven more majors than him – Roger Federer. But, before getting ahead of himself, of course, Djokovic will want to ensure he gets into the second round of the Australian Open by getting the better of Chung, who was one of the most improved players on court in 2015, and someone capable of breaking into the top ten in the near future.
At just 19, the South Korean is already close to breaking into the top 50, and if he continues on the same path, he should be a force to reckon with soon. With Djokovic the opponent in the first round, though, Chung will likely have to wait until the French Open to make a real impact in a Grand Slam.
Where to Watch Live
Novak Djokovic vs Hyeon Chung is scheduled as the third match of the day session on the Rod Laver Arena. The first match – Luksika Kumkhum vs Petra Kvitova – is set to begin at 11 am local time (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET). That match will be followed by Serena Williams vs Camila Giorgi, after which Djokovic will take court against Chung.
Live coverage of the Australian Open first round match will be on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD in India, with the online live streaming option on Sonyliv.
BBC will broadcast the Australian Open live in the UK and Ireland, while all the action can also be live streamed on BBCiPlayer. Eurosport and Eurosport Player will show the first Grand Slam of the year live in the rest of Europe. Channel 7 will broadcast the Australian Open live in Australia.
ESPN is the place to be to watch Djokovic play his opening match in the US and Canada, while the live stream option is on Watch ESPN. Bein Sports and Bein Sports Connect are the places to be to watch live tennis action in the Middle East and North Africa.
Fox Sports will show the opening round matches live in South East Asia as well as South Korea.