‘Rafael Nadal is never a dark horse,’ says legend ahead of Australian Open

Boris Becker believes Rafael Nadal should not be written off as a potential winner of the Australian Open, despite his recent injury problems.

Nadal has returned to action in Australia this month after being out since August with a long-standing foot injury.

That usually comes with a period of slowly working yourself back to your best tennis, meaning Nadal has not been considered one of the favourites for the tournament.

However, Becker believes that lack of pressure may actually work in Nadal’s favour this time, and he wouldn’t even be there if he thought he didn’t have a chance of winning it.

Speaking on Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe Vom Ball podcast, Becker said: “As long as Rafael Nadal plays tennis and gets the chance, he is never a dark horse for me, but always one of the tournament favourites.

“I think that in the back of his mind he just wants to win [the French Open] again, but he has to play tournaments first, preferably a Grand Slam.

“He has no pressure, nobody expects anything from him.

“The preparation was bad because of his Corona illness [but] I don’t know anyone in the main draw who would like to play Nadal in the first or second round.

“That is his nimbus – he is one of the ultimate superstars.

“And again, he can also get [his 21st major title]. I think that’s another reason why he’s playing in Melbourne.

“These top stars who have won so much, they wouldn’t be playing if they didn’t think they had a chance.”

Nadal’s preparations for the Australian Open have been pretty good, with the Spaniard winning his comeback event at the Melbourne Summer Set last week.

He will start his Australian Open campaign against American Marcos Giron.

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?

Other News

Australian handling of Novak Djokovic described as ‘total b***sh*t’ by legend

John McEnroe has described Australia's handling of the Novak Djokovic visa situation as 'total b***sh*t'.Djokovic is unvaccinated, but travelled to Melbourne after being he...

COMMENT: Novak Djokovic the victim of ugly deportation saga, not the creator

The Australian Open gets underway under a serious cloud on Monday after world number one Novak Djokovic was deported.Since Djokovic announced on social media...

Potential implications for Novak Djokovic as French Sports Ministry state – ‘No vaccine, no entry’

The French Ministry for Sport have announced a strict 'no vaccine, no entry' rule for the foreseeable future which could have further implications for...

‘Emma Raducanu has a target on her back,’ says former world number one

Emma Raducanu will begin her Australian Open campaign tomorrow with a target on her back according to 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert.Raducanu had...

Rafael Nadal gives update on foot injury after dominant display at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal was reluctant to declare himself over his recent foot injury, despite his powerful performance in the Australian Open first round.Nadal was forced...

‘Covid destroyed me,’ says Rafael Nadal after making winning Australian Open return

Rafael Nadal says his recent Covid infection 'destroyed him physically' after he made a winning return to the Australian Open.Nadal tested positive for the...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss a thing from Tennisbuzz - get all the latest tennis news, exclusive content and competitions, and tennis trivia teasers all delivered to your inbox.

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here