Tennis

Australian Open 2016: Serena, Novak aim to defend titles

Published 1936 GMT (0336 HKT) January 14, 2016
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Serena Williams battled her way to three grand slams in 2015 to lift her total to 21, one shy of the Open Era record set by Steffi Graf. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
She was only foiled in her bid to achieve the calendar year grand slam by Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open in September. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
But is Williams healthy ahead of the Australian Open? She retired from her opening match at the Hopman Cup and then withdrew from the Perth warmup event with a knee complaint. TONY ASHBY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Men's No. 1 Novak Djokovic has no such issues, although the Serb admitted his arm bothered him at a tournament in Doha last week. Djokovic won three majors in 2015 and also the year-end championships in London. Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
He has won 45 of his his last 51 matches against top-10 players, including going 31-5 in 2015. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Djokovic thumped Nadal in the 2016 Doha final, and last year the Spaniard failed to win a major for the first time since 2004. GREG BAKER/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
But the end of the season was much better for the 14-time grand slam champion, who reached finals in Beijing and Basel while making the semis at the ATP World Tour Finals. Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
If you're looking for the second favorite to Williams -- she may even be the favorite -- Victoria Azarenka could be the pick. The two-time Melbourne champion has recovered from a foot injury and won a warmup in Brisbane in convincing fashion. Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Is this Andy Murray's year to break through in Melbourne? He's been to the final four times -- losing three of them to Djokovic, including 12 months ago. Will Russell/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Murray's wife Kim Sears is pregnant with their first child, and the world No. 2 says he will fly home to the UK if she gives birth during the tournament. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images