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Daniil Medvedev practicing for Australian Open

Former world number one names his ‘strong favourite’ for Australian Open

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Former world number one Mats Wilander has declared Daniil Medvedev a ‘strong favourite’ for the Australian Open and thinks he can now dominate tennis.

Medvedev is the world number two and highest seed in the competition after Novak Djokovic was dramatically deported hours before the tournament started.

Had Djokovic been allowed to play there is no question that he would have been the favourite, but as it stands Wilander believes Medvedev will be very tough to stop from claiming a first Australian Open crown.

“I think Daniil Medvedev is the strong favourite I think because of the way he plays,” Wilander said.

“You have to go after him, you have to beat him because he is not going to beat himself. He is going to hang back if he has to, he is going to come in if he can.

“But he is going to have a great attitude whoever he plays – Nick Kyrgios in the second round is no problem at all.

“He really is starting to become a Rafa [Nadal], he just shows up for every single match and you know what to expect and he delivers.

“I think he is the strong favourite but if somebody comes out with guns blazing like [Alexander] Zverev did at the ATP Finals then someone can beat Medvedev, for sure.”

Medvedev won his maiden Slam at the US Open last year but, unlike Dominic Thiem before him, appears to have kicked on rather than stepped back.

“I think you can lose your motivation once you win a Grand Slam depending on where you are in your career but for Medvedev winning a Slam came at a good time, he beat the best player most probably of all-time in the finals.

“He could dominate the next four or five years, not in terms of winning three Slams a year, but in terms of getting to semi-finals, getting to finals, probably winning one or two Slams every year.

“Medvedev is becoming the guy that can consistently get to the later rounds of major and if you do that then you will win a bunch of them.”

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Daniil Medvedev practicing for Australian Open
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