John McEnroe feels Novak Djokovic is determined to win the Australian Open and he expects the Serb to rise to the occasion at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic, who was denied participation at last year’s Australian Open, is a record nine-time champion at Melbourne Park.
Had Djokovic been allowed to play at Melbourne Park 12 months ago, he would have been bidding to a fourth consecutive Australian Open title.
Now that Djokovic is back in Melbourne, McEnroe believes he is again the man to beat.
“He’s certainly the favourite in my book going in. Obviously, there’s got to be a lot of emotions going through his head, that’s for sure. It was one of the craziest years I’ve ever seen any athlete go through, and certainly in our sport. So of course, he wants to prove that he’s still got it, and it looks like he’s still got it to me and to most guys, so it wouldn’t surprise me,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
McEnroe: Djokovic’s reaction has been positive
After the Australia visa debacle, Djokovic was clearly shaken but still refused to speak negatively about the Australian Open and Melbourne.
Before and after landing in Australia, Djokovic insisted there were no hard feelings toward Australia.
McEnroe thought it was “absurd” what happened to Djokovic 12 months ago and now says it is good to see the Serb reacting in this manner.
“It’d be hard not to be angry. The fact that he seems to be in a good headspace is great and he’s sort of forgiven the tournament or whoever, the Australian authorities because that was absolutely outrageously bad when I think what happened. Absurd in my opinion, and he got denied an opportunity to win an event that he won a lot of times, so thankfully, it seems like that’s gone away,” McEnroe added.
In the Australian Open first round, Djokovic plays Roberto Carballes Baena.