Can anyone stop Novak Djokovic from an eighth Australian Open title? Will Serena Williams finally win her record-tying 24th career Grand Slam? And which players will emerge as the breakout stars in Melbourne?
There are many compelling storylines going into the 2020 Australian Open, which begins Monday (watch on ESPN, ESPN2 and the ESPN App).
Our experts make their picks for the first Grand Slam of 2020.
Who will win the men's singles title?
Jerry Bembry: Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has won four of the past six majors, including last year's Australian Open, where he destroyed No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets.
Pete Bodo: Djokovic. Yep, it's the predictable "boring" pick, but his record in the tournament, as well as his recent form, make him a prohibitive favorite.
Simon Cambers: Djokovic. His record in Australia is incredible, and he looks relaxed and content, which is usually the sign he is going to perform at his best. Unless his arm injury of last year flares up, I can't see him being beaten.
Cliff Drysdale: Nadal.
Chris Evert: Djokovic. He is unbeatable and has the best head-to-head record against Nadal and Roger Federer recently.
Brad Gilbert: Everything tells me Djokovic will make it No. 8 Down Under -- and he is the big favorite -- but I am going with Daniil Medvedev to get his first Slam.
Luke Jensen: Djokovic claims No. 17 and tightens all-time Grand Slam titles races with Federer at 20 and Rafa at 19. Djokovic is the most complete player from behind the baseline to the front court. The Australian Open surface speed is perfect for his clean Andre Agassi-like ballstriking to win the 2020 Australian Open.
D'Arcy Maine: After an early exit thanks to injury at the US Open, Djokovic looks reenergized and as if he has something to prove in 2020. Because, you know, somehow 16 Grand Slam titles doesn't already do that. With wins over Nadal, Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils and Kevin Anderson at the ATP Cup in singles play to help clinch the title for Serbia, Djokovic looks virtually unbeatable right now.
Patrick McEnroe: Djokovic dials it in Down Under yet again.
Pam Shriver: Djokovic will win again in Melbourne because he has owned Melbourne Park since his first of seven Australian Open titles in 2008. He is the best hard-court player ever and looked strong at the ATP Cup last week.
And on the women's side of the draw?
Bembry: Serena Williams. Her victory at the Auckland Open was her first title since the 2017 Australian Open, so Williams now has a recent taste of winning. That might be enough to get Williams over the hump after losing in four Grand Slam finals over the past two years.
Bodo: Karolina Pliskova is -- by far -- the best active player never to have won a major. But the progress she has made toward that goal in the past few years, combined with her consistently high quality recently, suggest her time has come.
Cambers: Serena. She is 38, but Williams looks to be in great shape and is seemingly injury-free. Now that she has won her first tournament since returning from the birth of her daughter, her confidence should be high. Equaling Margaret Court's record of 24 Slams has added pressure, but after Williams lost four Slam finals in the past two years, this can be the time.
Evert: Serena. Her serve is unreturnable, and she has the motivation.
Gilbert: I probably would have picked Bianca Andreescu before her injury. Now Serena has a great opportunity to make it Slam win No. 24.
Jensen: Serena. I LOVE players who are consistent with going deep in majors. Over the past two years, no one has done it better than Williams. Two finals in a row at Wimbledon and the US Open, and a semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019 when she was up 5-1 in the third set before an ankle injury messed up that run. Williams is poised to win the Australian Open 2020.
Maine: Naomi Osaka. The defending champion struggled for most of 2019 after her win in Melbourne but ended the year in resurgent fashion during the post-US Open swing. She now appears more confident and happier than ever -- and that's probably bad news for the rest of the field. With the return of her powerful game, a newfound attitude and full health, it feels as if everything is coming together for her just in time for the year's first Grand Slam.
McEnroe: Serena ... it's time.
Shriver: Serena will finally tie Court in Australia. Winning in Auckland, New Zealand, last week, Serena's first title in three years, will give her the confidence she can be the last one standing. Serena's early draw looks favorable. She will need to be efficient and serve well, but history awaits.
Which player will be the biggest surprise in the men's draw?
Bembry: Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev played the best tennis of his career last year, reaching six straight tournament finals, including the US Open. I'll repeat what I said in this space before the US Open: Medvedev is the guy who can shake up the Big Three. Even if he doesn't, he's sure to be entertaining.
Bodo: Andrey Rublev, a 22-year-old Russian, has overcome some significant setbacks after a promising debut. He's compiled a 13-match winning streak going back to mid-November, has won two titles already this year (8-0) and is in the opportunity-rich second quarter of the draw.
Cambers: Denis Shapovalov. Since hiring Mikhail Youzhny as coach last year, the Canadian has moved up another level and is now showing the kind of consistency that will make him a huge threat. He has all the tools to be a future champion, and a fourth-round clash with Roger Federer would be the perfect stage.
Evert: Stan Wawrinka has the experience and is not afraid of the Big Three.
Gilbert: I am racking my brain on this one. There is a big of possibility that it will go to another American, big fella Reilly Opelka.
Jensen: Federer. How can a competitor with 20 majors be a outsider? He had match points in the 2019 Wimbledon final and never found his groove after that. Roger is healthy and lethal with his precision-guided serve that can be the difference.
Maine: While he probably won't make it to the end of the tournament, Felix Auger-Aliassime certainly seems poised to make a statement at a major, so why not now in his first main-draw appearance in Melbourne? The Canadian teenager could potentially face Gael Monfils in the third round and Dominic Thiem in the fourth, but he has had big wins before (including two over Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019), so advancing to the second week seems more than possible for the up-and-coming star.
McEnroe: Jannik Sinner.
Shriver: Thiem could be the breakthrough surprise winner on the men's side because his hard-court game has improved each year. He is as fit as anyone. He loves the five-set format and the gritty hard courts of Melbourne, which will make his heavy topspin shots even more devastating.
Which women's player will make a surprise run?
Bembry: The entire field. This is women's tennis following the era of Serena's dominance. There have been 11 events since Serena's last Slam title here in 2017, and nine different champions (all nine winning their first Slam title). It's all up for grabs, which brings excitement to each major.
Bodo: Elena Rybakina, the 20-year-old Russian who now plays for Kazakhstan, is 6 feet tall and brings plenty of power from the baseline. She's one of a handful of 21-or-under talent who seem ready to break out in a big way.
Cambers: Coco Gauff. Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise given her progression, but the 15-year-old has the chance to enhance her name once more. If she can repeat her Wimbledon win over Venus Williams in Round 1, she will probably face defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round, which would be fun.
Drysdale: American Danielle Collins.
Evert: Madison Keys is maturing as a player and has good results leading in.
Gilbert: This is wide-open, and probably one unseeded player will make semifinals. I am thinking Amanda Anisimova.
Jensen: Gauff. This SUPERNOVA of awesome has a full head of steam heading into her third major ... EVER! Gauff serves MASSIVE and runs as if she is in the Olympics. She has a great mind and is tough as nails. No one wants this American star on the other side of the net.
Maine: Collins had her breakthrough tournament in Melbourne last year as she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, and it looks as if she could make another deep run. Coming off a semifinal appearance at Adelaide, Collins could face Simona Halep in the third round, but the upset-minded American easily discarded the higher-seeded Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic this year and looks to be playing some of her best tennis of late. Her hot streak certainly could continue at a tournament where she clearly feels very comfortable.
Before the release of the draw, it looked as if 2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki had a real chance to make a substantial run in her final tournament before retiring, thanks to an impressive performance at Auckland. However, with a potential matchup against pal Serena Williams in the Round of 16 and a very stacked quarter, that's looking less likely now.
McEnroe: Caty McNally.
Shriver: Petra Kvitova could be the surprise winner after coming close last year in Melbourne. Kvitova's better conditioning has enabled her to handle the heat better. Her left power game can be just as effective on a hard court as on grass at Wimbledon. She enjoys flying under the radar and looks to win her third singles major.