Novak Djokovic: All you need is love

Who will be the tennis ace of 2014?
Who will be the tennis ace of 2014?


    Who will be the tennis ace of 2014?


Who will be the tennis ace of 2014? 04:52

Story highlights

  • Novak Djokovic is targeting a fourth straight title in next week's Australian Open
  • The Serbian has not lost a match since becoming engaged last September
  • Top seed Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer meet Australians in first round
  • Victoria Azarenka is defending women's champion but Serena Williams is top seed

Novak Djokovic is on course for a "fab four" of Australian Open titles when the tournament begins in Melbourne next week -- and the defending champion says all he needs is love.

The Serbian second seed could become the first man to win four straight titles at the opening grand slam of the season and he says he has been in unstoppable form since popping the question to his girlfriend Jelena Risti.

"I got engaged in September," Djokovic told the media assembled under Melbourne's sunny skies Friday. "But since we got engaged I haven't lost a match so I guess the wedding should come very soon!"

The 26-year-old says the couple have yet to set a date for the big day so for now he is able to focus on beginning his on-court campaign in Australia.

Djokovic may be engaged but he is also exploring an on-court relationship with new coach Boris Becker, himself a two-time Australian Open champion.

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"It's great to see Boris as elegant as ever he's a legend of our sport," said Djokovic, nodding to Becker, who was watching in the crowd wearing a smart beige blazer.

"He's not been in Australia for 15 years so he's surprised to see how much has been done since then and for me it's an honor to have him alongside other team members.

"We're going to try and make a success of our partnership, it's just the beginning."

Djokovic, who won his first grand slam in Australia in 2008, faces Slovakia's World No.90 Lukas Lacko in the first round.

"The Australian Open is definitely my most successful grand slam and my favorite," Djokovic said.

"Most of the players share the same opinion that we love the atmosphere, we love the easy energy that goes around and the tennis fever in Australia."

Roger Federer, also a four-time winner in Australia, opens his tournament against Australian James Duckworth.

The Swiss, who last won the tournament in 2010, is seeded eighth for the event and is on course for a quarterfinal match with Britain's Andy Murray in his half of the draw.

Murray, a three-time finalist in Melbourne, takes on Japan's Go Soeda in the first round.

Rafael Nadal missed last year's tournament because of a stomach virus but the Spanish star is back after winning a warm-up tournament in Qatar.

The World No. 1 and top seed opens his Australian Open in an intriguing match against Australian firecracker Bernard Tomic and faces a potential semifinal clash with Murray or Federer.

Read: Time for tennis bad boy to grow up?

Fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt meets Italian Andreas Seppi in the first round fresh from beating Federer in the Brisbane International -- a victory which saw him win his first title in three years.

Victoria Azarenka lined up alongside Djokovic to meet the media and fans as the defending women's champion is looking for her third straight title on the hardcourts of Melbourne Park.

"I'm happy to be back here at the Australian Open again," said Azarenka. "Last year was really successful for me, winning a grand slam here and having a great final at the U.S. Open."

There was no mention of American rival Serena Williams, who beat Azarenka in Brisbane to once again go into the Australian Open as the one to watch.

Williams, a three-time Australian Open winner and top seed for the women's tournament, meets Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty in the first round.

Azarenka kicks off her campaign against Sweden's Johanna Larsson while in the same half of the draw Russian third seed Maria Sharapova faces American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Djokovic and Azarenka were happy to pose for the cameras with their trophies as defending champions but at the Australian Open it is not about defense -- it's all about attack.

"We are getting used to these pre-tournament photos together for two years in a row as defending champions," said Djokovic.

"I love the fact that we have the draw with the trophies and hopefully we leave our prints on them and grab them again in two weeks."

Read: Hewitt ends title drought

Read: Clijsters cool on another comeback

Read: Djokovic welcomes big name coaches


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