Nadal begins new era without mentor Toni Nadal in Australia

Johanna Konta

Simona Halep, who was upset in the first round previous year by American Shelby Rogers, and Caroline Wozniacki, who lost in the third round in 2017, were seeded one and two.

While pleased at his progress, Djokovic, who has dropped to 14 in the world, admitted he still had work to do ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year. I still have this afternoon and tomorrow, the last practice before the competition starts for me.

The former World No. 1, now ranked 12th and seeded 14th, faces World No. 63 Donald Young as he begins his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title.

"I just think about my first round". "It's no point to say I could have done it or not".

'It feels great. Obviously I was waiting for this moment for six months to get out on the court and play a match, ' Djokovic said. "I've done really everything in my power, with a team of people around me, to enable me to be right here and to compete in Australian Open".

Rafael Nadal showed that talk of his demise had been exaggerated by winning the French and U.S. Open titles a year ago although he faces a battle to repeat those feats without his lifelong coach and uncle Toni while also fighting familiar injury troubles.

Nadal look fit and agile while defeating Thiem and said he felt "good" and was "more or less" playing well.

Novak Djokovic
Nadal begins new era without mentor Toni Nadal in Australia

An upbeat but calm Nick Kyrgios heads into the Australian Open feeling confident about his mental game and keen to keep a level head through the season after a "roller-coaster" ride in 2017.

If he wins Australian Open, it will be his 17th grand slam and will also put him in an elite list of few players who have won all the Grand Slams at least twice in their career.

"For me, the Australian Open. if you are not enough motivated, 100 percent motivated to play this tournament, probably you don't love this sport".

"It is better to start No.1 than No.20", the Spaniard said. But, still, "everyone starts from zero". He will also be without uncle Toni by his side.

"It's the start of a new season, an exciting one".

Toni Nadal is now coaching at the Rafael Nadal Academy, with his nephew under the tutelage of Carlos Moya. "I hope to be healthy and competitive, and most important thing, I hope to enjoy tennis one more year". He has enough confidence with me, or I have enough confidence with him, to talk about anything I have to talk. If he has something to tell me, he calls me and tells me.

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