NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SERBIA):
World ranking: 1
Career titles: 34
Grand slam titles: 5 (Australian Open 2008, 2011, 2012; Wimbledon 2011, U.S. Open 2011)
Best previous Australian Open: Winner, 2008, 2011, 2012
Djokovic muscled his way into the Roger Federer-Rafa Nadal duopoly of grand slams with a spectacular 2011 in which he snared the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The big-hitting baseliner has a fearsome forehand and is considered one of, if not the, best returners of serve on the ATP Tour.
Had troubles early in his career with issues of fitness, but now is widely regarded as one of the fittest men on tour which was need when he was pushed all the way in the fourth round by Stanislas Wawrinka before finally winning 12-10 in the fifth.
Played nearly flawless tennis in the semi-final against David Ferrer, who said he felt he had never seen the Serb play better.
Path to the final:
1st round - beat Paul-Henri Mathieu (France) 6-2 6-4 7-5
2nd round - beat Ryan Harrison (U.S.) 6-1 6-2 6-3
3rd round - beat Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) 6-4 6-3 7-5
4th round - beat Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 12-10
QF - beat 5-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4
SF - beat 4-David Ferrer (Spain) 6-2 6-2 6-1
World ranking: 3
Career titles: 25
Grand slam titles: 1 (U.S. Open 2012)
Best previous Australian Open: Runner-up 2010, 2011
A talented all-round sportsman, he turned down a promising career as a soccer player to focus on tennis, leaving his homeland at 15 to train in Barcelona.
Became the first British player since Greg Rusedski in 1997 to make a grand slam final when he played the 2008 championship decider in New York, losing to Roger Federer in straight sets.
Made successive Australian Open finals in 2010 and 2011, losing to Federer and Djokovic respectively. In 2012, he hired former world number one Ivan Lendl as his coach and became first British man to reach the final at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938, but lost to Federer.
A few weeks later, he avenged his loss to Federer when he won the gold medal at the London Olympics then went on to win the U.S. Open, beating Djokovic in five sets, to become the first British man to win a grand slam singles title since Fred Perry at the U.S. Open in 1936.
Has barely been troubled throughout this year's tournament, spending less than nine hours on court in five matches before he faced Federer in the semi-final. Clinched his first victory over the Swiss in a grand slam in a five-setter that lasted four hours.
Path to final:
1st round - beat Robin Haase (Netherlands) 6-3 6-1 6-3
2nd round - beat Joao Sousa (Portugal) 6-2 6-2 6-4
3rd round - beat Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) 6-3 6-4 7-5
4th round - beat 14-Gilles Simon (France) 6-3 6-1 6-3
QF - beat Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-4 6-1 6-2
SF - beat 2-Roger Federer (Switzerland) 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-7 6-2
- - - - (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Patrick Johnston)