Djokovic dominance or another Murray major? What to expect from tennis in 2016
And can anyone challenge the big four? We discuss the biggest questions in the men's game prior to the first grand slam of the season in Australia
Will Andy Murray win another grand slam?
Murray’s last - that glorious, hazy summer’s day at Wimbledon - was nearly three years ago now.
And while he doesn’t need more trophies to be considered a tennis great, a player of his talent, determination and consistency does deserve to have won more slams than, say, Marat Safin or even Stan Wawrinka.
Curiously, his best chance of claiming his third is probably at either the Australian or French Open - the only two he is yet to win.
Murray produced the best performances of his career post-back surgery at those events last season, reaching the final in Melbourne and semis in Paris - only to lose both to Novak Djokovic in four and five sets respectively.
Australia is where he has played his most consistent tennis and Murray revealed this week that his main ambition is to triumph at the tournament where he has four runner-up finishes in six years.
He is poised to at least match that this time around as his career-high position of second in the world rankings - achieved, in part, after winning two Masters 1000 titles in 2015 - ensures that any meeting with Djokovic will not take place until the final.
The return of Amelie Mauresmo as coach is also significant. Murray has a reverence for the former French No. 1 and, as proven by his drop in performances after she went on maternity leave in July, is a better player in her presence. Less clear is whether inspiring Great Britain’s first Davis Cup win in 79 years will propel Murray to further slam success.
It did for Djokovic, who the season after doing so with Serbia in 2010 won three majors and became the No. 1 player in the world - a position he has pretty much held exclusively ever since.
But he was 23 at the time and his scope for improvement was greater than Murray’s, who turns 29 in May.
A Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic and Davis Cup winner, there are no worries regarding the Brit’s temperament to navigate high-pressure matches. More pertinent is that Djokovic is better at playing tennis.
It will also be intriguing to see what impact, if any, fatherhood has on the boy from Dunblane.
As long as wife Kim doesn’t give birth during the Australian Open - which Murray says he will fly home for - there is no reason why it shouldn’t aid his aim for more majors.
A contented personal life helps on the court, while a shift in priorities might help a player who has dedicated his life to tennis and sometimes suffered by caring too much.
More Djokovic dominance? Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal may have won more grand slams, but Djokovic has perhaps surpassed both as the greatest player of all time after enjoying the best season in tennis history in 2015.
In winning three majors and finishing as runner-up in the other – as well as claiming a record six Masters 1000 titles - the Serbian has elevated the sport to a standard that not even Federer or Nadal in their prime reached.
Can he maintain or even improve on that level this year? If his 6-1, 6-2 win over Nadal in this week’s Qatar Open final is an indicator - the Spaniard described his performance in the final as "perfect" - then absolutely.
Even the 10-time major winner, though, will struggle to claim all five major prizes that are on offer, especially with the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and US Open taking place within three months of each other this summer.
After Australia, Djokovic’s priority is likely to be the two he is yet to win: the French and Olympics.
End of the big four? Not necessarily.
Nadal failed to win a grand slam for the first time in a decade last year - and was humbled by Djokovic in the semis at the French - but he did complete a season injury-free for the first time since 2011.
That game time will do the 29-year-old plenty of good this year and, while his knees have prevented him from playing well on grass for years now, his improved performances since the US Open - reaching three finals - shows he can still compete on hard courts.
Of most importance to Nadal, though, will be ensuring he is at his best for when the European clay-court season comes around in the spring.
The comprehensive defeat to Djokovic at Roland Garros - plus others in Rome, Madrid and Barcelona - was jarring and the dethroned king of the red dirt will be minded to reclaim his crown.
Federer, meanwhile, is probably playing better at 34 than he did in the mid-2000s when he would snaffle three slams a year for fun.
Not even the departure of coach Stefan Edberg - who ensured he remained competitive by making him play the most aggressive tennis of his career - should prevent the Wimbledon and US Open runner-up from enjoying another stellar season.
And while one more - and likely last - slam would be nice, the title the Swiss would love to win more than any other will be the only one that eludes him: an Olympic gold singles medal.
The problem for Federer, of course, is the same one facing Murray: Djokovic.
The redemption of Nick Kyrgios? It would not have been a surprise if many in tennis - a sport renowned for its middle-class sensibilities and myriad of commercial partners - did not find the player with dyed hair, shaved eyebrows and a penchant for swear words endearing.
Up until the middle of last season, though, they did.
Kyrgios is charismatic, flamboyant and - as his four-set victory over Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 or run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year demonstrated - an outstanding prospect who has the talent and athleticism to win grand slams.
But much of the warmth towards the Australian ceased after he stopped trying against Richard Gasquet at SW19 and made a malevolent remark to Wawrinka about the sexual history of his girlfriend at the Montreal Masters.
But redemption is a familiar narrative in sport and, even in the early weeks of 2016, Kyrgios appears a calmer, more mature player.
The 20-year-old is playing well again, too, winning all his singles matches at the Hopman Cup - including a first one over Andy Murray in five attempts - as Australia triumphed in the event for the first time in 16 years.
Threatening the big four and contending at the majors consistently is probably beyond Kyrgios this season.
But a first ATP title and a place in the top 10 of the rankings by the year’s would be a superb response to a difficult 2015 - and a prelude to even better things.