What interesting decision have Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner, and Stan Wawrinka taken for Australian Open preparations?

Every player likes to be at the best for at the first Grand Slam of the year. With valuable preparation set ahead, the feeling that one has to begin the year well is always pivotal for athletes because it gives them boost as the year get along. But that is not the case for some players.

The likes of Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the 2023 Australian Open due to injury went ahead to win five titles including Wimbledon. Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev won four titles each and are certain to do more this season but without the normal routine of playing in tournaments before AO.

Alcaraz, Medvedev, Sinner and Wawrinka skipping tournaments before AO

Tournaments at the start of the year are usually viewed as valuable preparation for the Australian Open, which kicks off on January 14. But, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev, and Stan Wawrinka are not engaging in any event ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek are starting their seasons playing for their countries at the United Cup, while Rafael Nadal, Aryna Sabalenka, and Naomi Osaka headlining at the Brisbane International. But the Wimbledon champ is not signed up for the United Cup or any other events in early January. Perhaps, Carlos Alcaraz might look to play at the Kooyong Classic, an exhibition event held in the week before the Australian Open.

Earlier, Marca reported that the 20-year-old star will be without coach Juan Carlos Ferrero at the Australian Open. Ferrero has reportedly undergone a knee operation and will not be able to travel to Melbourne. Alcaraz will instead be coached by Samuel Lopez.

Jannik Sinner finished 2023 winning the ATP Fans’ Favourite Player Award but he will not be taking that form to Brisbane or the United Cup. However, the Italian is set to get some court time at the Kooyong Classic, where he will join Andy Murray, Holger Rune, Casper Ruud and Stan Wawrinka in the field.

Daniil Medvedev revealed recently that extra rest is one of his top priorities ahead of the Australian Open. Speaking at the ATP Finals after losing in the semi-finals to Jannik Sinner, he said, “I’m probably going to play only Australian Open. Going to try like this to have more of a vacation time than usual and more of a off-season time and start with a Slam straightaway, which is going to be new for me. But let’s see.”

Stan Wawrinka is the oldest player in the top 50 this season. He is currently back training after a muscle injury, but seemingly won’t feature in tournaments before the 2024 Australian Open.

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic set for high-stakes exhibition clash in Riyadh

Carlos Alcaraz is set to play against Novak Djokovic in an exhibition match, in Riyadh on the 27th of December, as part of the Riyadh Season festival. After the clash, Novak Djokovic will head to the United Cup tournament to represent his country while Alcaraz trains indoors. Meanwhile, Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka will also feature in that exhibition match on December 26.

Gearing up for the match, the Carlos Alcaraz took to X, formerly known as Twitter and wrote, “Heading to Riyadh on December 27 for my match against @DjokerNole! @RiyadhSeason.”

A win for both tennis stars at the exhibition will be crucial for their Australian Open title challenge, which will also feature Rafael Nadal. Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz have faced each other five times throughout their careers so far. Four of the five matches took place this year, at the French Open, Wimbledon, Cincinnati Masters, and the ATP Finals. Djokovic came out on top thrice and Alcaraz won once.

Victor Okechukwu

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