No clear men's favorite at Australian Open
Rafael Nadal (above) said he doesn't consider himself a towering favorite at Saturday's Australian Open practice day. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)
Who deserves to be the men's favorite at this year's Australian Open?
Is it Roger Federer, the defending champion and four-time winner in Melbourne? Or is it Rafael Nadal, the current No. 1 and reigning French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion?
In our readers' poll, 50 percent chose Federer, with 35 percent giving Nadal the edge (as of 6 p.m. ET on Saturday). British oddsmaker William Hill lists them as co-favorites with identical 7-4 odds. Here's what the top four men's seeds had to say about it at Saturday's practice day.
It's hard to say. You know, they're really in top shape. I think Federer has been playing fantastic tennis in the last three, four months. He's the defending champion. So maybe he has a little advantage there. But still Nadal, you know, is No. 1. They're always there at the top.
[Nadal] should be favorite. He's holding the three Slams. I hold this one still, but just, so... Of course, I won the World Tour Finals, I've been playing really well on the hard courts right now. But he's been the one dominating the Slams. Had hardly any tough matches in the last three slams. That makes him the favorite. I don't have any problems not being the favorite really.
Well, I mean, I think Roger and Rafa are the two guys that have played the best in the slams the last few years. So I'd probably say between those two, you know, they'd be the favorites. But I think there's a lot of guys that can win against them if they play their best. It's going to be an interesting tournament.
Rafael Nadal Every tournament is completely different. I gonna try my best to play well. And we will see what's going on, no? But I feel if I play at my best level, I can have a chance to be in the second week, and there we will see what's happen, no? Every match will be really difficult, so I have to be ready for everything. But I for sure am feeling less favorite than him and not more favorite than Djokovic, Murray, Soderling, these kind of players, no? So that's true. That's what I think.