Kyrgios has ability to win Open: Rosewall

Seventy years after becoming the youngest player to win the Australian Open, tennis legend Ken Rosewall believes Nick Kyrgios can also be a home slam champion this year.

An 18-year-old Rosewall held aloft the Norman Brooks Challenge Cup in 1953, with this year's Open coin, used in the toss before each match, minted in his honour.

Rosewall is also the oldest Open champion, winning the major for a fourth time in 1972, with the 19-year gap the longest between a maiden and final title at any slam.

Now 88, Rosewall still keeps close tabs on the game and has watched the stilted progress of Australia's top-ranked man Kyrgios.

Like many, he's been frustrated to see Kyrgios not always maximise his potential but hopes the 27-year-old will rise to the occasion this year after reaching the Wimbledon final and US Open quarters in 2022.

Rosewall has previously been critical of some of Kyrgios's inflammatory on-court antics but wants to see the mercurial star go all the way.

Seeded 19th, Kyrgios opens his tournament on Tuesday night on John Cain Arena against Russian Roman Safiullin.

"He hasn't played a lot of tennis recently due to his injuries so that might not help him a great deal but Nick is one player who could rise to the occasion," Rosewall said on Sunday.

"Let's hope so - Nick certainly has the ability to win the tournament but time will tell.

"The general consensus of the Australian tennis population is they want to see him play well and go through.

"He's a good enough player to do it."

Eight-time major champion Rosewall is also a big fan of Alex de Minaur, who has drawn Taiwanese qualifier Yu Hsiou Hsu in his first-round match on Tuesday night.

"We're looking for Alex de Minaur to continue with his great form," said Rosewall, who now lives on the Gold Coast.

"He's had some great wins recently in the United Cup but he's still got to play very well, as Alex knows.

"But he's very keen and improving his game."

Men's tournament favourites Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both have clouds hanging over their Melbourne Park campaigns.

Nine-time Open champion Djokovic admitted he was still troubled by a hamstring injury suffered last week and had been unable to train fully.

Defending champion Nadal appears vulnerable with just one win from his past six matches dating back to the US Open, including a United Cup loss to de Minaur.

Seeded No.1 in the absence of his injured compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, Nadal faces British young gun Jack Draper on Monday on Rod Laver Arena.

"It's probably one of the toughest first rounds possible, being seeded," Nadal said of the 21-year-old, who reached the semi-finals in Adelaide last week.

"He's young, powerful, growing very, very fast on the rankings, playing well.

"It's a big challenge for me at the beginning to start the tournament.

"I know he's playing well - he has a lot of positive things, and probably a great career in front.

"I hope to be ready to fight for that first round and let's see what can happen."