Tennis

No clear favourite for Australian Open, says Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic said next week's Australian Open is wide open and the Serb expects the current crop of young talent to push for glory at the season's opening Grand Slam.

Djokovic recorded a ninth consecutive hard-court win over world No. 2 Rafael Nadal on Sunday, as Serbia were crowned ATP Cup champions in Sydney.

The world No. 2 also downed 2019 US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson and rising stars Denis Shapovalov and Christian Garin at the tournament, showing no signs of the elbow issues that resurfaced at the end of last season.

Despite his ominous form, the defending champion expects a stiff challenge from long-time rivals as well as the new generation.

"It's really open, the Australian Open or any other Slam," he said.

"You have (Roger) Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and the rankings that we get to be probably named the top-three favourites. But then you have Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem, who are really showing some amazing tennis."

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Barty takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Adelaide International today, having gone out in the singles of the Brisbane International at the first hurdle last week.

"I can't wait to start... I've put myself in a position to... play my best tennis," she said. - AFP, REUTERS

Tennis