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“I don’t think Rafa is the favourite” says Andy Roddick on Nadal’s chances at the 2022 Australian Open

Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick evaluates Rafael Nadal's chances at the 2022 Australian Open irrespective of 9-time champion Novak Djokovic's participation.

Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal

Andy Roddick is enjoying his retirement life and now acts as an expert and pundit on various platforms from the comfort of his home. The 2003 US Open champion’s opinions are highly sought given his vast experience on the Tour and having had played against some of the top players on the Tour during that period.

Roddick could have had won many more Grand Slams had it not been for one of his fiercest rivals and now friend Roger Federer who got the best of him on numerous occasions including the 4 runner-up finishes in the Grand Slams finals, 3 at Wimbledon and 1 at the US Open and losing to Roger on all occasions.

While Federer got the better of Roddick in the finals, Rafael Nadal usually stopped the American in the quarters and semis of tournaments. With both Federer and Nadal ending their season early in 2021 due to injuries and having selected their tournaments carefully keeping in mind their physical well-being, Roddick evaluated Nadal’s chances at the upcoming 2022 Australian Open.

“After seeing the bodies deteriorate, Novak has been playing the best, consistently for five, even ten years. And he’s only gotten better this year. I don’t think you can say that about Rafa or Roger at this point in their careers. 

Novak is still the favourite, but this new situation where Rafa comes in and the road to the Australian Open title doesn’t necessarily go through Novak. After that, I don’t think Rafa is the favourite, that Novak either there or not. But there is an additional difficulty for Nole,” said Roddick as reported by WeloveTennis.

Novak Djokovic still not sure of his participation at the 2022 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic

With Federer already confirming another long spell on the sidelines and a return to tour not expected before the 2022 Wimbledon, the Australian Open will be again without the Big 3 together. Nadal has however confirmed that he will be indeed playing at the first Slam of the next year.

Novak Djokovic, who is a 9-time champion and will be the 3-time defending champion at the Australian Open , is yet to confirm whether he will play at the Slam next year given the tournament confirming that no unvaccinated person will be allowed within the premises and Djokovic reluctant to confirm his vaccination status.

Also Read: “I hope my compatriots are in good shape and ready” Novak Djokovic raring to play at the upcoming 2021 Davis Cup