Australian Open 2020: Nick Kyrgios and 6 sleeper picks in men’s singles

Nick Kyrgios will play the Australian Open (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios will play the Australian Open (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) /

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Medvedev and Tsitsipas have received the most pre-tournament buzz, but which other Australian Open stars will impress?

Novak Djokovic goes into the 2020 edition of the Australian Open as the favorite to defend his title and win a record eighth title in Melbourne.

The other names in the top five group of favorites include world number one Rafael Nadal and 20-time major winner Roger Federer along with two rising stars in Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

We have broken down the five favorites and given our tournament prediction, backing Djokovic to deliver on the hype.

Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem narrowly missed out on being named in that top five for the first major of the year and is seen as the sixth favorite.

Aus Open 2020. Tournament preview. light

But beyond that group at the top, there are plenty of other players who are primed to impress over the next two weeks, the best of whom we have picked out below.

We are not suggesting these stars are poised to cause an almighty shock by winning the tournament, but they are a group who are capable of making a good run and may have been overlooked in the pre-draw analysis.

If they do make progress and can get into position for the second week, you never know what can happen if the draw opens up after some the big names have fallen early.

light. Aus Open. Tournament's best Open Era players

Six Australian Open 2020 sleeper picks

Nick Kyrgios

With Alex de Minaur out injured, Nick Kyrgios carries Australia’s hopes in the men’s singles.

It is true the draw was not kind to him, but it was also unkind to those who have to play the 24-year-old, who remains one of the few players outside the top 10 who is genuinely feared by the Big Three, given he has the game to beat anyone on his day.

Kyrgios won three of his four matches at the ATP Cup, including a notable triumph over Tsitsipas.

Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov had a fine finish to 2019 and already looks destined for a swift move into the top 10 of the world rankings.

With two impressive team performances at the Davis Cup Finals and ATP Cup under his belt, the Canadian now has his first chance this year to demonstrate his progress in a major.

He got some valuable matches at the ATP Cup, beating Alexander Zverev and Tsitsipas, while losing in three sets to Djokovic and De Minaur.

Andrey Rublev

A nominee for the ATP Tour’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2019, it all seems to be coming together for Andrey Rublev after some injury woe earlier in his career.

The man who stunned Federer with a rapid victory in Cincinnati last year has started 2020 spectacularly, winning back-to-back tournaments at the Qatar Open and Adelaide International.

Roberto Bautista Agut

It was a case of six matches, six wins for Roberto Bautista Agut as he helped Spain to the final of the ATP Cup.

An extremely solid top-10 player who holds a strong record against players ranked below him, he is a prime candidate to benefit in a major if an upset involving the Big Three leaves the tournament up for grabs.

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson beat Cristian Garin and Benoit Paire at the ATP Cup, but it was his competitive performance in defeat to Djokovic on his first match back after injury that will have given him hope of a return to the upper echelons of the ATP rankings in 2020.

Hubert Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz won his first ATP Tour title at the Winston-Salem Open towards the end of last year and, under the radar, had a brilliant ATP Cup for Poland.

His country went out in the group phase but he did everything he could, recording three extremely impressive wins over Thiem, Diego Schwartzman and Borna Coric.

Winners and losers from Aus Open draw. dark. Next

Hurkacz was a semifinalist at the ASB Classic this week and could be a prime candidate to catch a big name by surprise at the Australian Open.