World No. 13 Diego Schwartzman listed Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the main favorites for the Australian Open title after the Novak Djokovic withdrawal. After losing his Australia visa appeal, Djokovic was deported from the country.
"I think that after Djokovic's withdrawal, the favorites are Medvedev and Zverev. We can't forget Tsitsipas, although he lacks competitive rhythm, he is very dangerous in the final rounds. Nadal must also be mentioned.
I saw him training and he is always eager to do a good job. That is why he deserves a lot of respect. For me, they are the favorites," Schwartzman said, per Punto de Break.
Nadal makes a positive start
Nadal hasn't lost a match this year as he captured the Melbourne Summer Set title before beating Marcos Giron in the Australian Open first round.
Former American tennis star Lindsay Davenport would like to see Nadal win a Grand Slam title No. 21. "It's great to see him back out there healthy but three out of five sets on a hardcourt, on his body, I just don't know.
I mean I wanna see him get to 21. I think so much good could come out of it if Rafa has a great tournament and potentially wins here but lets see physically how he holds up," Davenport said on Tennis Channel. Nadal's Australian Open participation was in doubt after he contracted COVID-19 in late December.
"We got to remember, there was a chance that Rafa wasn't even gonna come. Not only the foot, (but he also) tested positive for COVID in late December. So everyone was thrilled when he got off the plane and showed the picture of himself on Rod Laver Arena.
But I think it's probably a big ask at this tournament, the courts are playing very fast. He's played seven tournaments, each of the last two years," Davenport added.