• Lendl makes debut as veteran prediction artist

    1/18/11 3:32 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Lendl makes debut as veteran prediction artist Two-time Australian Open winner Ivan Lendl has finally picked up the prediction habit over-used by former tennis colleagues John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander.

    And like the other pundits of his generation, he's got an opinion on the current Grand Slam.

    Lendl, who has rarely come near tennis since his retirement nearly two decades ago, spent the week before the start of the Open in Adelaide for an exhibition and later travelled to Melbourne. And the 50-year-old is not shy about tipping top seed Rafael Nadal for the championship.

    Czech-born Lendl has joined those predicting the Spaniard will win the event for the second time and complete a run of four consecutive Grand Slam titles. "Rafa has improved periodically, and that's why he's number one at the moment," said keen golfer Lendl, who won the Australian title in 1989 and 1990. "Roger Federer has started playing a bit better towards the second half of last season, and I think Robin Soderling, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic have been improving, trying to close the gap."

    But despite his emphasis on Nadal, Lendl has his other major base covered. “You can never look past Roger, obviously he has a fantastic record in the past, and he's still a top player. But Rafa is a little bit of a favorite in my mind."

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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