Mats Wilander: Little too ambitious to think Rafael Nadal is going to win AO



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Mats Wilander: Little too ambitious to think Rafael Nadal is going to win AO

Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander thinks it is a "little too ambitious" to think that Rafael Nadal is going to win the Australian Open. Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, captured his maiden Australian Open title in 2009 but since then he has lost four finals at Melbourne Park.

“It is a little too ambitious to think he is going to win it,” Wilander told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview. “The Australian Open is the Grand Slam where he has had the least success. “Why is that? I think the main reason is he hasn’t built up a lot of confidence through the pre-season because obviously you can’t, just practicing and not playing too many matches.

Rafa always plays his best when he has racked up a few matches and wins. “We are looking at this unbelievable race. Novak is going to win his 21st Grand Slam and sail into the sunset as the greatest player of all-time and then this situation happens and Rafa is back.

“It has all come to a grinding halt with Novak and we don’t know about Rafa, but it tells me he is going to have a full season by being here”.

Nadal made a positive start in Melbourne

On Monday, Nadal saw off Marcos Giron in straight sets to set up a Yannick Hanfmann clash.

Before the tournament started, former world No. 1 Boris Becker offered his take on Nadal's chances of winning the Australian Open. "As long as Rafael Nadal plays tennis and gets the chance, he is never a dark horse for me, but always one of the tournament favourites,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast.

“I think that in the back of his mind he just wants to win [the French Open] again. But he has to play tournaments first, preferably a Grand Slam. “He has no pressure, nobody expects anything from him."