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The favorites and the absentees

The Australian Open begins this Monday to the delight of lovers of the little yellow ball. In order to put you in the best conditions, We Sport passes for you the various favorites of the Australian Open 2022. Who will succeed Novak Djokovic, winner of the tournament in 2021?

Australian Open 2022 favorites

Novak Djokovic (world No. 1): The Serbian is the favorite in his own succession. Djokovic is on another planet and one of the best tennis players in history. A 20-time Grand Slam titleholder, he could overtake Big Three rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal if he wins again in Melbourne this year. Djoko is the big favorite of this 2022 edition. Australia is also his garden. He is the three-time title holder of the tournament and he has won 9 of the last 14 editions. He could therefore add a tenth crown to his empire and enter a little more into the history of world tennis.

A question arises, however, about his physical and psychological state. Not vaccinated against Covid-19, the Serbian had some setbacks with the Australian administration where he was refused his medical exemption and his visa by the country’s police. After a stormy legal battle, the Serbian was able to leave the hotel where he had been placed in solitary confinement. For the moment Djokovic should participate in the tournament but the Australian authorities have hinted that they could still exclude him from the country. The Serbian will face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (World No. 78) in the first round.

Daniil Medvedev (world No. 2): The Russian appears to be Djokovic’s main opponent. At 25, he has made a name for himself despite the omnipresence of the Big 3 (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer) and has become one of the best players on the world circuit. After his victories at the Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals (he notably beat the 3 best players of the time: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem) in 2020, the Russian experienced consecration in 2021. He won the Open 13 Provence and the Mallorca Championships before winning the Masters 1000 in Toronto. He then obtained the long-awaited grail by winning the US Open by beating in 3 sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) the big favorite Novak Djokovic. Medvedev will therefore be one of the big favorites for the Australian Open 2022. He will face the Swiss Henri Laaksonen (N°92 in the ATP ranking) in the first round.

Alexander Zverev (world No. 3): The world number 3 is coming out of a great 2021 season where he only missed the sacred on a Grand Slam to enter among the greatest. In 2021, he won the Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics, 2 Masters 1000 (Cincinnati and Madrid), the Masters finals and 2 ATP 500 tournaments (Acapulco and Vienna). The German however stalled in the Grand Slam tournaments: 1/4 final at the Australian Open (beaten by Djokovic), 1/2 final at the French Open (beaten by Tsitsipas), 1/8 final at Wimbledon (beaten by Auger-Aliassime) and 1/2 final at the US Open (beaten by Djokovic). He is therefore one of the logical favorites for the 2022 edition of the Australian Open. The German will face his compatriot Daniel Altmaier (world No. 91) in the first round.

The underdogs: Winner of the Melbourne tournament in early January, Rafael Nadal (world No. 6) will be one to watch. The native of Manacor has however announced that he will not be 100%. The Spaniard notably saw his 2021 season spoiled by injury. The Spaniard will face the American Marcos Giron (world No. 66) in the first round. Stéfanos Tsitsipas (world No. 4) will also be one of the men to watch. The Greek is coming off a good 2021 season where he won his first Masters 1000 (victory in Monte-Carlo) and had his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. He will face Swedish Mikael Ymer (world No. 82) in the first round. We will also observe the seeded number 7 Matteo Berretini. The Italian is the only man outside the Top4 to have reached the Grand Slam final (Wimbledon). However, he never made it past the Round of 16 in Melbourne. We will also have to keep a close eye on Andrey Rublev (world No. 5) and Casper Ruud (world No. 8).

On the French side, the best chances lie in Gael Monfils (head n°17) and Ugo Humbert (seed n°26). Monfils will face Federico Coria in the first round while a Humbert will face Richard Gasquet. We will also keep a close eye on Lucas Pouille who will face his compatriot Corentin Moutet.

The big absentees from the tournament

Dominic Thiem (world No. 15): “After a short vacation my team and I considered things and decided to make some changes to my schedule for the start of the year. I will start the season at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, at the end of January, and as a result I will not be playing at the Australian Open this year in Melbourne”, he said on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. The Austrian wants to continue his recovery as best as possible following his right wrist injury. The 2020 US Open winner, however, claimed on Tuesday that his wrist “is in optimum condition”and he trains “normally with very good intensity”.

Roger Federer (world No. 16): The Swiss continues his recovery after his knee surgery. Falling to 16th in the ATP rankings, Federer does not hope to return before the summer of 2022. He should therefore also miss Roland-Garros and Wimbledon in addition to the Australian Open. Federer would not have resumed training until mid-December according to the tweet from his equipment supplier where one could read We are happy to see Roger Federer get back to training”.

Kei Nishikori (World No. 47): Four-time finalist in the Australian tournament, the Japanese was forced to forfeit as he is still suffering from hip pain after his injury suffered at the end of last season. “A little update from me which is less positive unfortunately. Since the end of last year, I have had difficulties with my hip. She is not 100% healed yet and I will have to withdraw from the tour of Australia. It’s very disappointing because the Australian Open is like my national Grand Slam. The Asian Grand Slam. Can’t wait to come back next year. I am working hard on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back on the court soon” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Juan Martin Del Potro (World No. 265): Absent since June 2019, the Tour de Tandil was forced to forfeit the Australian tournament. The winner of the US Open 2019 is however close to seeing the end of the tunnel. He should return to competition in early February at home during the Buenos Aires tournament.

The other absentees: Milos Raonic (World No. 70, heel injury), Guido Pella (world No. 74, knee injury), Stan Wawrinka (World No. 82, recovering from foot surgery), Jeremy Chardy (world No. 107, absent since the end of August following a bad reaction to the Pfizer vaccine), Tennys Sandgren (n°96 worldwide, unvaccinated), Pierre-Hugues Herbert (#110 worldwide, unvaccinated).

Read also – Draw for the Men’s Table

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