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Australian Open 2019: 3 Dark Horses for the Men's Title

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
835   //    10 Jan 2019, 00:54 IST

With the Australian Open 2019 draw to be announced soon, all eyes are on the possible paths of the usual suspects. In the men’s section, it’s still the big three – Novak Djokovic, two-time defending champion Roger Federer and world number two Rafael Nadal – who are the favourites.

However, on the evidence of recent form and potential, here is a list of three players who could prove to be the dark horses and go all the way.

#1 Kei Nishikori

2019 Brisbane International - Day 8
2019 Brisbane International - Day 8

The Japanese superstar and long-time Asian number one has had an injury-plagued career so far. But his potential is unquestionable. He has long been seen as the first Asian male tennis player to be a grand slam singles champion.

Though he has been a permanent fixture in the top 10 for most of last five years since his breakthrough year of 2014 when he reached the US Open finals, he has not managed to reach another grand slam final.

But he is slowly coming back to his best. After a long injury lay off, he did come back to tennis last year. Though his performances beginning with last year’s clay court season saw an upswing, he could not manage to win a singles title despite reaching the finals of many tournaments including the ATP 500 in his home town.

He has begun 2019 by winning the Brisbane International and thus breaking the hoodoo of going title-less for almost three years that saw him lose a whopping nine finals. He enters the Australian open full of confidence.

He has the game and the experience to go all the way down under. With a ranking within top 10, he will be able to avoid top players till the round of sixteen, which will also help him ease into the tournament.

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