‘Never count out Rafael Nadal,’ says Boris Becker as he discusses his Australian Open favourites

Rafael Nadal playing to make history will make him a top favourite at the Australian Open, says Boris Becker.

If Nadal can win in Melbourne he will take his Grand Slam count to 21, one ahead of Roger Federer with whom he currently shares the all-time record.

In addition to that he can also become the first man to ever win multiple titles in all four Grand Slams.

Traditionally, though, Australia has been something of a career Achilles heel for Nadal, with just one of his 20 major titles coming in Melbourne in 2009.

However, while Becker believes eight-times winner Novak Djokovic remains the favourite, he has warned against ruling out Rafa.

“People sometimes forget Rafael Nadal, he has a total of 20 Grand Slams and is playing against tennis history, so to speak.

“I also count him among the top favourites. But especially Dominic Thiem, who had a fantastic year in 2020 and made his breakthrough to the top of the world.

“He won the US Open and only just lost to Djokovic in Melbourne last year. I see Thiem right at the top.”

Boris Becker won two Australian Open titles himself as a player and was also Novak Djokovic’s coach when he won two of his eight crowns there.

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