'I feel ready' - Nadal on Open defence

Top seed Rafael Nadal is confident he can turn around his troubling recent win-loss record to successfully defend his Australian Open title.

The veteran Spaniard has arrived at Melbourne Park with just one victory from his last six matches dating back to the US Open, including United Cup losses to Australia's Alex de Minaur and Brit Cameron Norrie earlier this month.

Coming off an injury-dogged 2022, Nadal takes on Englishman Jack Draper in the opening round on Monday, with the world No.40 one of the rising stars of the game.

Despite his rocky record, Nadal feels he is regaining the form that saw him down Russian Daniil Medvedev in the Open final last year to earn his 21st grand slam trophy and move clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the most men's singles major titles.

"It's true that I have been losing more than usual," Nadal told reporters on Saturday.

"I think I am humble enough to accept that situation and just work with what I have today.

"I need to build again all this momentum, I need to build again this confidence with myself with victories.

"I didn't play that bad the first two matches this year - I lost against two great opponents, but having very positive chances to win both matches.

"I would love to arrive here with a couple of victories, yes, but that didn't happen, so need to accept that, need to live with it.

"The rest of the parts of my game that I have been working with, I am quite happy and I feel ready in terms of try to play very good tennis on Monday."

Playing his first grand slam since becoming a dad - and with his son Rafael with him in Australia - the 36-year-old said his preparation has been first rate.

Despite having a newborn he said he'd practised more in the past three weeks than he had in past 10 years and was starting to see the fruits of his work.

"I have been better and better every single week and I feel faster in the legs and playing better with more confidence," Nadal, who took over the Open's top seeding with world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz out injured, said.

"The last three weeks of preparation here have been very positive from my point of view, then I'm going to go on court and I'm going to try my best.

"I feel ready honestly - the only thing that didn't happen in my side is victories.

"I don't know what can happen on Monday, but my personal feeling, without a doubt, is better now than three weeks ago."

Nine-time champion Novak Djokovic is the fourth seed but runaway favourite with bookmakers to win a 10th crown.

However the 35-year-old, who missed last year's Open after being booted out of the country, said he was affected by a hamstring injury suffered at the Adelaide International.

"I've been struggling with that a bit, to be honest, the last seven days but it's hopefully not the major concern," said Djokovic, who was still able to play an exhibition with Nick Kyrgios on Friday night.

"So far I've been able to train, compete and play points, practice sets so that's a positive sign.

"Obviously, I'm being a bit more cautious and I'm not going full out on the training sessions, conserving the energy for next week so hopefully it won't cause an issue for me then."

Djokovic opens his campaign against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.