Daniil Medvedev is the 'best player in world' without Novak Djokovic being at the Australian Open and is the 'heavy favourite', according to Mats Wilander.
Medvedev, who claimed his maiden Grand Slam title last year at Flushing Meadows, will fancy his chances of winning the Australian Open for the first time this year on his favourite surface with Djokovic, who he lost to in last year's final, having been deported.
The Russian got off to a superb start with a straight-sets win over Henri Laaksonen and, when asked in the Cube whether he thinks he is the favourite, said: "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 Eurosport expert Wilander disagrees and believes that it is actually Medvedev himself who should be regarded as the 'heavy favourite' to triumph at Melbourne Park this year in Djokovic's absence.
"I mean, 52% of his serves went unreturned; can you imagine playing a tennis match like that?" Wilander asked in the Eurosport Cube.
"He's added so much as well. He used to be so defensive and passive and waiting. Now he actually takes the ball early at times.
"I think he is the best player in the world now that Novak is not here. He said Rafa, but I think Daniil is the heavy favourite here."

'Rafa is favourite because he has 20 Grand Slams' - Medvedev not feeling pressure

In his on-court interview, Medvedev made no secret of the fact that he is looking to win this year's Australian Open with such a perfect opportunity having presented itself to him.
"I like pressure but last year I started well here in Australia in the ATP Cup and I managed to be in the final here," he said on-court afterwards.
"The tournaments in Australia are always really important for me. I like to play in Australia on hard courts. I want to do better here than I did last year, but it is not going to be easy."
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