The draw has been made and the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, is nearly upon us.
In the opening week of the year, the greatest players have assembled Down Under, competing in tournaments in the likes of Brisbane and Adelaide.
But things will go up a notch next week when the first major of the year gets underway in Melbourne and in the men's tournament all eyes will be on Novak Djokovic.
Carlos Alcaraz to win the Australian Open @ 10/3
Jannik Sinner to win the Australian Open @ 13/2
Holger Rune to win the third quarter @ SP
Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation
Djokovic collected three of the four Grand Slams on offer in 2023 and the season started with a record 10th Australian Open title.
The Serbian loves the hard courts of Melbourne, having won the major in four of the last five seasons, and at 11/10, he is again favourite to come out on top.
But in his path to the final are some promising talents and Djokovic may not have things all his own way at this year's Australian Open.
Both the betting and world rankings suggest that confident Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz will be Djokovic's closest competition in Melbourne and it is hard to disagree.
Although still only 20, world number two Alcaraz has already won two Grand Slams - the US Open in 2022 and Wimbledon last year - and is going from strength to strength on the ATP Tour.
The Murcia-born ace will be particularly determined Down Under this month after missing the Australian Open last season with a hamstring injury, meaning he is still yet to progress beyond the third round.
Achieving his personal-best run at the Grand Slam will be the absolute minimum Alcaraz will expect from himself and he has the ability to see off the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Alex Zverev and Casper Ruud in his half of the draw.
It is a bold move to oppose Djokovic at the Australian Open but at , Alcaraz is a value bet to deny the Serbian title number 11. He came out on top when the pair met in last season's Wimbledon final and he already has a hard-court major to his name.
After a strong end to the 2023 season, Jannik Sinner already looked like a fine Australian Open outright selection and he is even more appealing following the tournament draw.
Sinner has been handed a pretty soft route to the quarter-finals with Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov his toughest potential opponents in the round of 16.
And he should also be pretty confident of winning his quarter if up against Andrey Rublev - a player he has beaten in four of their six meetings.
Sinner is stationed in Djokovic's half of the draw but beat the Serbian twice near the end of last season in the Davis Cup and the ATP World Tour Finals.
His run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon last term was his best ever performance at a Grand Slam and this year could be the year he makes his major breakthrough.
Sinner is arguably the third-best player on the ATP Tour after his heroics at the end of 2023 and, having reached at least the quarter-finals in all four Grand Slams, the Italian is worth backing as an outsider to come out on top in Melbourne.
Away from betting on the outright winner, Holger Rune looks like excellent value to win the third quarter at this year's Australian Open.
Rune's toughest potential opponent in the segment is Medvedev and he has every chance of winning that battle with the players split at 1-1 in the head-to-head.
Rune warmed up for the season's first Grand Slam with a run to the final of the Brisbane International, losing to Grigor Dimitrov, who is also in this quarter of the draw.
But Rune will have learned a few lessons from that tight defeat and he looked in excellent shape in last season's Australian Open, winning 3-0 against each of Filip Krajinovic, Maxime Cressy and Ugo Humbert in the first three rounds.
It was Rublev who knocked him out in the fourth but that was a five-set humdinger which could have swung either way.
Rune is still growing on the ATP tour but he cut a determined figure in Brisbane and was looking excellent before running into Rublev in Melbourne last year. Another year wiser, he is worth a bet to win his quarter.