Despite the presence of defending champion Rafael Nadal and world number one Carlos Alcaraz. Former doubles world No. 1 Todd Woodbridge has backed Novak Djokovic as the clear favorite at the Australian Open 2023. The preparations for the 2023 season have already begun, and the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam of the new year will take place at Melbourne Park in about three weeks.
The return of Novak Djokovic, who was deported and banned from entering the country due to his pro-Covid vaccination stance in January, has been the event’s main focus thus far. The nine-time champion was eventually able to overturn his ban, giving him a chance to finish La Decima at the Australian Open in January 2023.
In addition, despite the presence of defending champion Rafael Nadal and world number one Carlos Alcaraz, Todd Woodbridge, a former doubles world No. 1, has backed the Serb as the clear favorite.
Due to Covid restrictions at the time, Djokovic, who was unvaccinated, was unable to defend his Australian Open title at the beginning of this year.
Australia has relaxed its restrictions and lifted Djokovic’s three-year visa ban, allowing him to make his 18th appearance at Melbourne Park while he is still unvaccinated against Covid-19. “Uplifting news is that he will play at the Adelaide Global so he will be in Australia for half a month prior to the Open beginnings. That will give him an opportunity to get all the pressure and strain of last year out.
The media will exert pressure, but he has handled it very well. He is returning to a nation where he enjoys playing. Nine times, he has won the Open. He enjoys the atmosphere and the surface. He will be extremely motivated to win here, in my opinion. The fact that he was not permitted to play the previous time will serve as additional motivation.
When Novak wasn’t allowed to play, Rafa (Nadal) won. When he tries to break the record for most Grand Slam titles won, that will also be on his mind. He should be the favorite going into the Australian Open, in my opinion. He is good enough to be the number-one player even now. Maybe he would have been having he played the entire season.
He decided not to, but neither his form nor his quality have changed. During a Sony Sports-organized virtual interaction on Wednesday, Woodbridge stated, “He should be comfortable here.”
Nadal, returning from a career-threatening injury, defeated Daniil Medvedev. In an epic five-set match to win his second Australian Open title in his absence.
Woodbridge stated, “Rafa has always had this quality in him to deflect attention and just focus on his own game,” when asked by the Hindustan Times about Nadal’s chances. He just tries to go unnoticed. He almost certainly would repeat that when he arrives in Australia. However, since Wimbledon, he hasn’t played much tennis.
He had a hard time at the US Open because he didn’t play very well and didn’t do very well at the end of the year. His way of life will drastically shift as a result of his son’s birth. When Roger retired at the Laver Cup, Rafa’s eyes almost revealed that he might be the next, as I recall watching him. However, if he enters the Australian summer fully fit.
Then we are aware of his capabilities. He is one of the game’s toughest mental players. However, in light of this new season, I still believe Novak is the younger of the two. In addition, there were a lot of younger players making an impact on the ATP tour in 2022. Alcaraz, who won his first slam at the US Open, has been the most dominant of them all.
He also became the world’s youngest No. 1. Casper Ruud, on the other hand, reached two Slam finals before falling short to Nadal at the French Open and Alcaraz in New York. However, Jannik Sinner of Italy is Woodbridge’s second-choice pick for the Australian Open. “Carlos has the best of the Enormous Three’s style. He possesses Federer’s volleys, Nadal’s tenacity, and Djokovic’s court movement.
That is a fantastic package because of how you put it together. However, I want to see how he handles being the No. 1 and having won the last huge homerun (US Open). Both as an athlete and as a man, he is still developing. If either Novak or Nadal does not make it, I think Sinner will have the best chance of winning here. He seems ready for the next level, in my opinion.
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