Nadal, Federer seeded 1st and 2nd for Australian Open


Halep commences her assault on a first Grand Slam title against local wildcard Destanee Aiava. "For now, I am in the (Australian Open) tournament and let's hope with God's grace that everything will be fine in the next five days".

"I played better than I thought might happen [on Wednesday] and most importantly I played without pain".

Whether Djokovic will consider himself fit enough to make his official comeback next week at the Australian Open, which he has won six times, remains to be seen. The 2018 Australian Open may provide some answers.

"I don't want to be over-confident", he said.

A rematch of last year's Australian Open semifinal with 2017's strongest finisher, Grigor Dimitrov, is on the cards.

If fit and firing, 2009 champion Nadal will be hard to beat but needs to bring something new to the court if he ends up facing Federer, who won all four of their matches a year ago.

Twelve months on from his unforgettable surge to a fifth Open crown aged 35 and in his first official tournament back after six months out of the game, Federer admits he can still barely believe what he pulled off.

“I dont say Im at 100 per cent, I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament.

During the four months since Rafael Nadal's closing, charging, vaguely awkward, utterly effective backhand volley went through the court untouched to end the U.S. Open, the 2018 Australian Open promised a Grand Slam pretty much unparalleled.

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Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic could be Nadal's quarter-final foe or Spanish No. 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

Take the two men that contested last year's final, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, they are considered by many as the frontrunners once again. He, more than any Australian player, will play the lead in a Grand Slam running theme: the extra heaps of pressure upon home-country, home-team players.

ESPN analyst and former world No. 1 Chris Evert said Federer's experience and smooth style of play, which has left him relatively injury-free, set him apart from the field.

Top-ranked Simona Halep is in the same half as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who has a hard quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.

Edmund tried to do just that previous year at Roland Garros but the big South African simply would not let him; Anderson won in five sets.

There has been little to cheer since the turn of the century and the last time an Australian made it to the men's final at Melbourne Park was Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

“I feel great, I was eager to get onto the court, ” he said after playing with a flesh-coloured sleeve on his right arm.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki will open her tournament against Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu, while third seed Garbine Muguruza takes on French wildcard Jessika Ponchet.

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