Daniil Medvedev could "dominate" over the course of the next four or five years and is a 'strong favourite' for the Australian Open, according to Eurosport expert Mats Wilander.
The Russian, who denied Novak Djokovic his calendar Grand Slam at the US Open last year, is set to take on home favourite Nick Kyrgios in what should be a tasty and boisterous second-round clash on Thursday.
Medvedev himself has sought to pile the pressure on Rafael Nadal, and told Eurosport: "I always say whoever is the highest-ranked is the favourite, so this time I will go with Rafa [Nadal] because he has 20 Grand Slams."
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But Wilander does not agree and believes that it is actually Medvedev who is not only the favourite at Melbourne Park, but could be a dominant force in men's tennis for years to come.
"I think Daniil Medvedev is the strong favourite because of the way he plays," Wilander said in the Eurosport Cube.
"You have to go after him, you have to beat him because he is not going to beat himself. He is going to hang back if he has to; he is going to come in if he can.
"But he is going to have a great attitude whoever he plays – Nick Kyrgios in the second round is no problem at all. He really is starting to become a Rafa [Nadal], he just shows up for every single match, and you know what to expect and he delivers.
"I think he is the strong favourite, but if somebody comes out with guns blazing like Zverev did at the ATP Finals then someone can beat Medvedev, for sure.
'Rafa is favourite because he has 20 Grand Slams' - Medvedev not feeling pressure
"I think you can lose your motivation once you win a Grand Slam depending on where you are in your career, but for Medvedev winning a Slam came at a good time, he beat the best player most probably of all time in the final.
"He could dominate the next four or five years, not in terms of winning three Slams a year, but in terms of getting to semi-finals, getting to finals, probably winning one or two Slams every year.
"Medvedev is becoming the guy that can consistently get to the later rounds of a major, and if you do that then you will win a bunch of them."
Fellow Eurosport expert Alex Corretja added: "I think Daniil Medvedev is more of a favourite than the others. I think Alex Zverev is very close to him too.
"I would put them both as the main favourites for the tournament at the moment because there is still a long way to go. We need to see how Rafa improves his game. But if I was to say now, I would say Medvedev and Zverev.
"Maybe Daniil just slightly ahead because he has already won a Grand Slam. Zverev is looking very strong too."
As for Medvedev's opponent in the second round, Kyrgios, the mercurial Australian was busy continuing to entertain the Melbourne fans by serving from the tramlines, having a handshake snubbed and dancing during his doubles opener alongside friend and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Kyrgios comes up with wacky serve from tramlines, loses point
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