Serena Williams can make history at the Australian Open as she pursues a 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would equal Margaret Court’s all-time record.
Novak Djokovic, too, will be going for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park this year.
Both Williams and Djokovic, though, will be challenged by a number of seasoned and young contenders for the title.
Here’s a look at ten players to watch out for at the Australian Open 2020:
Will this be the moment when the American great finally makes it a 24th Grand Slam title?
The 38-year-old Williams, now a mother, has been stuck on 23 major triumphs since winning the Australian Open in 2017 when she beat her sister Venus.
Incredibly, Williams has lost her last four Slam finals, and each time failed to even win a set. Nevertheless, she is still a formidable presence and the woman to beat in Melbourne.
Now in her fourth decade on the WTA Tour, Williams started the season well when she won in Auckland last week – her 73rd tour victory, and her first since the 2017 Australian Open.
Much like the changeable weather, the superb Serb’s success in Melbourne is almost a given. Djokovic is going for a record-extending eighth title after making his Grand Slam breakthrough on the azure courts way back in 2008.
Djokovic, who has now amassed 16 major tournament wins, thrashed his old sparring partner Rafael Nadal in last year’s final to kick off another phenomenal year where he won his fifth Wimbledon title and collected five tournament victories to take his career tally to 77.
Now 32 and ranked world number two, nobody is betting against ‘Nole’ putting together a similar season this year.
Just 15, the American ploughed through qualifying and then stunned five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon last year, before going out in the fourth round to eventual champion Halep.
It was no fluke. Gauff went on to make the US Open third round and won her maiden title in Linz in her next tournament.
At the end of 2018 she was ranked 686th in the world, but 12 months later had rocketed up to 68th. Expectations are high for this star in the making.
Greece has never had a player like Tsitsipas and expectations are high for the 21-year-old, who stunned Federer last year en route to the Melbourne semi-finals.
The 1.93m (6ft 4in) Tsitsipas had quite the season in 2019, lifting his second, third and fourth ATP trophies and beating Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals.
Apart from his Melbourne run, however, Tsitsipas wasn’t such a threat at Grand Slams, as he was a first-round loser at Wimbledon and the US Open and fell to Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Now Tsitsipas needs to show he can take the next step this season – and break the Big Three’s stranglehold on the Major titles.
The 22-year-old hit the highs and the lows in 2019.
When Osaka triumphed at last year’s Australian Open for her second Grand Slam title, she looked set to reign over the women’s game.
But the Japanese then endured a slump, exiting in the first round of Wimbledon and seeing her US Open defence fall flat.
With her father standing in as her coach, Osaka roared back to the form that made her number one with back-to-back titles in Japan and China.
In December she hired Belgian Wim Fissette as her coach – her fourth in less than a year.
Crowd favourite Federer is rapidly becoming the oldest swinger in town but even at 38, he still has the tools to add to his all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
At this stage in his career, retirement talk is never far away but there are few signs Federer will call a halt this year, when he will look to fill the only gap in his trophy cabinet – Olympic singles gold.
Like Djokovic, Federer also has a liking for Melbourne Park, winning two of the last three men’s singles titles, and he will hope to bounce back from last year’s chastening fourth-round defeat to Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is 17 years his junior.
Australia’s world number one will enjoy strong backing from the home crowd in Melbourne, but whether she thrives or shrinks in the spotlight will be key to her chances.
The 23-year-old, who once had a break from tennis and played professional cricket, won her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open in 2019.
Barty surged to the top of the rankings in June and has stayed there ever since, and sealed a breakthrough year with victory at the season-ending WTA Finals.
However, she lost to American qualifier Jennifer Brady in Brisbane last week in her first match of the year and the pressure to deliver for Australian fans will be immense.
Top-ranked Nadal, so often Federer’s nemesis, can deliver the ultimate slap to the great Swiss by equalling his 20 Major titles in Melbourne.
The Mallorcan, now the first man to be world number one in three different decades, won the 2009 final against a tearful Federer but that remains his best showing in Australia, with four runner-up finishes to his name.
Nadal, 33, has been the gallant loser in two of the last three deciders but it would be just like the indomitable Spaniard to hit back with a long-awaited second Australian Open title on February 2.
The 28-year-old Halep will have to dispel lingering doubts about her troublesome back.
She is a former number one and two-time Grand Slam champion – at Roland Garros in 2018 and then last year at Wimbledon, where she convincingly defeated Williams in the final, 6-2, 6-2.
But Halep struggled towards the end of the year with her back, which has troubled her for several years. In December was voted WTA Fan Favorite for the third time in a row.
When Kyrgios plays, controversy is never far away and there is no doubt that the combustible Canberran will provide some fireworks at Melbourne Park.
Kyrgios is possessed of a huge forehand and serve – when he’s not serving underarm – but by general consensus, he needs to curb his sparring with umpires, fans and fellow players if he is to threaten at his home Grand Slam.
Kyrgios, 24, is also playing under a suspended 16-week ban, meaning the consequences will be severe if he lets his temper get the better of him.