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Beyond AO: 10 predictions for season 2024

  • Dan Imhoff

Following the conclusion of Australian Open 2024, we cast an eye into the crystal ball to see what could unfold for the rest of the year.

Djokovic to equal Federer’s tally at Wimbledon

To what extent Father Time is bearing down on 36-year-old world No.1 Novak Djokovic remains to be seen after his first defeat in an Australian Open semifinal to Jannik Sinner, a player 14 years his junior.

For a player who has reached the final in nine of his past 12 majors though it would be a bold call to suggest this is the beginning of the end.



Djokovic will have added incentive at Wimbledon in 2024. At his second-most dominant major after the Australian Open, the Serbian at full fitness will return as favourite to reclaim the title and tie Roger Federer’s tally of eight trophies.

MORE: Novak's reality check - "There was not much I was doing right"

Sabalenka to return to Australia as world No.1

After a barnstorming charge to her maiden major at AO 2023, Aryna Sabalenka fell in two semifinals and the final of her subsequent three Grand Slams from winning positions. 

While the 25-year-old proved her ability to consistently push deep on all surfaces, Sabalenka was pipped at the post for the year-end No.1 ranking by Iga Swiatek.

A successful Australian Open title defence will unlock a new level of self-belief through 2024 adding an edge to her champion’s mentality that will help her return to top spot and return to Melbourne Park as the top seed for the first time at AO2025.

MORE: The stats that highlight Sabalenka’s AO 2024 dominance

Carota Boys to stay on as Sinner becomes a second-week lock

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner’s unofficial orange carrot-clad cheer squad, the Carota Boys, proved a lucky omen for the Italian in their first trip Down Under.

Sinner's unofficial fan club - The Carota Boys

Having completed their career Grand Slam as fans, the group of six 20-somethings will almost certainly pop up at the remaining three majors.

Their charge’s new-found confidence will help him reach at least the quarterfinals at all Slams this season and the semifinals or further at two of them.

Swiatek to win singles gold for Poland

While world No.1 Iga Swiatek was again exposed against a fearless, heavy-hitting and barely-missing opponent on the hard courts at Melbourne Park at AO 2024, the Pole is likely to return to being the preeminent force on clay.

Iga Swiatek with her Roland-Garros trophy in 2020

The 22-year-old will relish the conditions and familiarity of a second trip in one year to the site of her most successful event, Roland-Garros, where she will have her sights set on Olympic gold.

MORE – Swiatek - " I was more stressed than other tournaments"

De Minaur to join Wimbledon’s Last 8 Club

Defeat to Andrey Rublev, having thrown everything he had into a four-hour hit-out, left 10th seed Alex de Minaur bitterly disappointed.

The 24-year-old felt his third trip to the fourth round at Melbourne Park was an opportunity gone begging after his six-match winning streak narrowly came to a halt.



By his own admission, De Minaur has closed the gap and given the right draw will have his best chance at adding a last-eight showing at Wimbledon to equal his best result at a major from the 2020 US Open.

MORE: Rublev rallies to deny De Minaur's dream

Gauff and Pegula to claim doubles gold in Paris

Coco Gauff’s days off in Melbourne became suddenly less cluttered after doubles partner Jessica Pegula’s withdrawal.

The teenager said it meant more trips to the movies and extra cards games with her parents to pass the time.

Gauff and Pegula at AO 2023

It didn’t do her singles campaign any harm as she reached her maiden Australian Open semifinal.

Having enjoyed a stint as joint doubles No.1s in 2023, the pair will be a formidable force at the Paris 2024 Olympics on a court they have already contested a major doubles final together.

More: Movie and mini-golf - Gauff taking "a more fun approach"

Alcaraz to land third major at Roland Garros

After admitting nerves and tension contributed to cramps in a heavily hyped semifinal defeat to Djokovic in Paris last year, Carlos Alcaraz will be better prepared and conditioned to handle the occasion this time round.

Alcaraz with his trophy at Wimbledon in 2023

After his heroics at the All England Club last July, Alcaraz has suffered surprise four-set losses in his subsequent two majors and will be hungry to reassert himself before his Wimbledon title defence rolls around.

Emboldened, having beaten Djokovic for his second major trophy, and with countryman Rafael Nadal’s fitness still under a cloud, a first Grand Slam title on clay was well on the cards. 

More: Alcaraz joins illustrious quarterfinal club

Noskova to reach successive Slam second weeks

If anyone truly declared their credentials in Week 1 it was surely calm-as-you-like Czech Linda Noskova.

In her AO debut, the 19-year-old backed up her Brisbane semifinal with the biggest boilover of the tournament against world No.1 Swiatek in the third round en route to her first major quarterfinal.



Noskova departs Melbourne inside the top 30 and will likely reach the second week at the next stop on the Slam calendar, Roland-Garros, where she was a junior champion three years ago.

MORE: Teen dream - Noskova sends Swiatek packing

Rublev to break major quarterfinal duck

The relentless Andrey Rublev played arguably his finest match over five sets to stave off Alex de Minaur in the fourth round but earned an unenviable record following a one-sided defeat to a rampant Sinner.

The 26-year-old became only the second player after Manuela Maleeva to fall in their first 10 major quarterfinals. 

Rublev in action at AO 2024

Time is still on the world No.5’s side and given the right draw his perseverance will pay off most likely with a semifinal run at Flushing Meadows. 

MORE: Andrey Rublev – "I just fell in love"

Yastremska to find greater consistency at the Slams

One of three Ukrainians to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park at AO 2024, 93rd-ranked qualifier Dayana Yastremska’s eight-match unbeaten streak was finally ended against 12th seed Zheng Qinwen in the semifinals.

The 23-year-old had only once passed a Grand Slam draw in 15 main draw appearances but a more mature outlook and renewed self-belief augured well for at least one more second-week showing at the majors in 2024. 

MORE: Yastremska departs AO with ranking restored, and goals clear