Dark Horses to Look Out for at Australian Open 2021

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The Australian Open 2021 is just one week away and although Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Sofia Kenin will start as favorites, there’s a chance that a new and surprising name will emerge as the winner of the Grand Slam. There are quite a few players who can actually leave a mark and surprise the fans at the upcoming Major.

Keeping this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the dark horses who might astonish everyone at the Australian Open 2021.

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios will make a comeback at the Australian Open 2021 after almost a year. Although he hasn’t played a lot of tennis lately, he’ll surely start as one of the dark horses at the tournament.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia looks on during his Men’s Singles fourth-round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Kyrgios is playing at home and even has a great record against the defending champion Novak Djokovic. He’ll want to make an incredible comeback and win his maiden Grand Slam in Australia this time.

Jannik Sinner

The 19-year-old Jannik Sinner stunned everyone when he went on to win the Sofia Open 2020. He showed some brilliant skills and impressed everyone with his wide range of shots at the tournament.

Italy’s Jannik Sinner celebrates with a trophy after winning the final REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Recently, he trained with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open 2021 bubble. He certainly looks ready and will be a threat to everyone at the upcoming Grand Slam.

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev played quite well and managed to win five ATP titles in 2020. Although the Russian player could not win a Major, he had a fantastic season in 2020.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his group stage match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Rublev is certainly someone who can pose a major threat to players at the Grand Slam. He is surely hungry for a Grand Slam title and will do everything to win it in Melbourne this year.

Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman is undoubtedly a dark horse who can turn the tables anytime at the Australian Open 2021. Although the Argentine didn’t win any title in 2020, he delivered some great performances and even defeated Rafa at the Italian Open 2020.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in action during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Schwartzman is known for playing some aggressive tennis. He managed to reach the semis of the French Open 2020 but couldn’t get past Nadal there. Fans have high expectations from him this time and he can turn out to be the unexpected package at the upcoming Grand Slam.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Pablo Carreno Busta is another dark horse to watch out for at the upcoming Major. The Spaniard played quite well in 2020.

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in action during his fourth-round match against Germany’s Daniel Altmaier REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Busta was a semi-finalist at the US Open 2020 and at the Rotterdam Open 2020. He also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open 2020 and Paris Masters 2020 but lost there despite putting up a worthy fight. If Busta manages to find a way to deal with pressure, he can certainly excel at the Australian Open 2021.

Aryna Sabalenka

The lioness of tennis can surely emerge as the winner in Melbourne this year. Aryna Sabalenka is on a great winning streak after winning the twin titles at the Linz Open 2020 and then winning the Abu Dhabi Open 2021.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus celebrates after winning a point during her Women’s Singles second-round match against Daria Kasatkina of Russia on day five of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Belarusian player has shown that she can make a comeback even from the worst situations and knows how to handle the pressure. She’ll surely want to carry forward her momentum and win her maiden Grand Slam this time.

Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari is one of those who plays so well in the initial stages of a tournament, but then somehow loses momentum in the quarterfinals or semifinals. She played a number of quarter-finals in 2020 but unfortunately couldn’t go all the way.

Maria Sakkari of Greece celebrates after match point against Amanda Anisimova of the United States (not pictured) on day six of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, she reached the semis at both the Ostrava Open 2020 and at the Abu Dhabi Open 2021, but again couldn’t handle the pressure there and lost in straight sets. However, it is a possibility that Sakkari might find a way to overcome this pressure and go on to lift the Australian Open 2021 title.

Belinda Bencic

Former World No.4 Belinda Bencic is working quite hard for the upcoming Grand Slam. She even transformed her hotel room into a training ground and practiced some drills there.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrates winning a point against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan during Day 4 of the WTA Qatar Total Open 2020 at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on February 26, 2020, in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Bencic definitely looks hungry and will be eyeing her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne this year. Although she had a poor season in 2020, she is the one who can deliver some astonishing performances anytime.

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek stunned everybody at the French Open 2020 when she went on to win the title in Paris. She didn’t drop a set there and defeated both the top two seeds- Simona Halep and Sofia Kenin there.

Iga Swiatek of Poland in action against Anett Kontaveit (not seen) of Estonia during women’s singles match within 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia on January 27, 2020. Kontaveit won the match 2-1. (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The 19-year-old Polish player will be returning to the court after about five months. It’ll be intriguing to see whether she’ll be able to win her second Grand Slam title in Melbourne this year or not.

Jennifer Brady

The American player Jennifer Brady is another player who’ll be a dark horse at the upcoming major. She went on to win the Top Seed Open 2020 and was even one of the semi-finalist at the US Open 2020.

Jennifer Brady of the United States celebrates match point winning her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

However, she hasn’t been that consistent in her performances. Brady will surely want to improve her game as fans realize that she has the potential of winning the Australian Open 2021 title.

Also Read: Tennis players for whom 2021 is a do or die season

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