AAP Tennis

Leading Australian Open men’s contenders

By AAP Newswire

LEADING MEN'S CONTENDERS AND TOP LOCAL AUSTRALIAN OPEN HOPES:

RAFAEL NADAL (ESP):

Age: 33

Ranking: 1

Plays: left-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US120,222,286

Career titles: 84

Grand slam titles: 19 (Australian Open 2009; French Open 2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-19; Wimbledon 2008, 2010; US Open 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Australian Open win-loss record: 61-13

Best Australian Open results: champion 2009, runner-up 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019

The five-time finalist has been trying for more than a decade to claim a second Open crown and join Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as only the third man to win all four majors at least twice.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB):

Age: 32

Ranking: 2

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US140,228,279

Career titles: 77

Grand slam titles: 16 (Australian Open 2008, 2011-13, 2015-16, 2019; French Open 2016; Wimbledon 2011, 2014-15, 2018-19; US Open 2011, 2015, 2018)

Australian Open win-loss record: 68-8

Best Australian Open results: champion 2008, 2011, 2012-13, 2015-16, 2019

A warm favourite to capture an unprecedented eighth men's singles title in Melbourne after completing a perfect six-from-six preparation at the ATP Cup, including a ninth-consecutive straight-sets hardcourt win over Nadal.

ROGER FEDERER (SUI):

Age: 38

Ranking: 3

Plays: right-handed

Career prize money: $US129,231,891

Career titles: 103

Grand slam titles: 20 (Australian Open 2004, 2006-07, 2010, 2017-18; French Open 2009; Wimbledon 2003-07, 2009, 2012, 2017; US Open 2004-2008)

Australian Open win-loss record: 97-14

Best Australian Open results: champion 2004, 2006-07, 2010, 2017-18; runner-up 2009

The great Swiss will eclipse Lleyton Hewitt's record with a 21st-consecutive Open appearance, fully believing he can match Djokovic's haul of seven titles after downing the Serb at the season-ending championships in London.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV (RUS):

Age: 23

Ranking: 4

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US10,984,788

Career titles: 7

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 4-3

Best Australian Open result: fourth round 2019

The Russian took his game to new levels amid a run of six-successive hardcourt finals after Wimbledon last year, falling to Nadal in an epic five-set US Open decider, but winning four other titles. The new best of the rest.

DOMINIC THIEM (AUT):

Age: 26

Ranking: 5

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US22,406,618

Career titles: 16

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 10-6

Best Australian Open results: fourth round 2017-18

The two-time French Open runner-up proved he was anything but a claycourt bully with three title triumphs on hard surfaces in 2019, including success at the prestigious Indian Wells Masters.

STEFANOS TSITSIPAS (GRE):

Age: 21

Ranking: 6

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US10,665,005

Career titles: 4

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 5-2

Best Australian Open result: semi-finalist 2019

The Greek sensation knocked Federer out last year, ending the Swiss's 17-match winning streak in Melbourne, before confirming himself as the real deal with title glory at the ATP Finals in London.

BEST OUTSIDER:

ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP):

Age: 31

Ranking: 9

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US12,128,861

Career titles: 10

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 15-8

Best Australian Open result: quarter-finalist 2019

There's nothing glamorous about the Spaniard but he's super efficient on all surfaces and hugely respected by his peers. A regular hitting partner of Djokovic, the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finalist is yet to drop a set in six matches this season.

BEST AUSTRALIAN HOPES

NICK KYRGIOS:

Age: 24

Ranking: 26

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US8,337,448

Career titles: 6

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 12-5

Best Australian Open result: quarter-finalist 2015

Continues to promise so much but is without a grand slam quarter-final showing in five years. But with three higher-ranked players pulling out, the hot-head will avoid striking a top-eight rival until at least round four instead of three.

JOHN MILLMAN:

Age: 30

Ranking: 47

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US3,516,225

Career titles: 0

Grand slam titles: 0

Australian Open win-loss record: 4-5

Best Australian Open result: third round 2016

The 2018 US Open quarter-finalist has started the season on fire with a succession of wins over top-20 stars at the ATP Cup and Auckland and has proven he can made a deep run at a slam.