Novak Djokovic Not Opening on Rod Laver Arena Makes No Sense

Nadal Federer get top seeds at Australian Open

Yet making a case for any other man in the draw is nearly impossible. This year's Australian Open has to be considered a wide-open Open, and Williams' experience, and suitable game style for the hard courts here, could possibly deliver an eighth overall Grand Slam title, and her first since Wimbledon 2008.

The 20-year-old Russian is not the most high profile of the "Next Gen" stars emerging, but became the first to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final thanks to a superb run in NY.

Federer added: "This year I hope to win the first few rounds and get rolling hopefully, whereas last year I was just hoping to win".

The Spaniard will be determined to go one better in Australia this year, but there are more concerns over his fitness after he pulled out of his scheduled opening two tournaments of 2018 in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane, although he did take part in the Tie Break Tens event and then beat Dominic Thiem in a surprise exhibition match ahead of his first-round clash against 37-year-old Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos.

While time will tell if Murray's initial optimism about playing at Wimbledon this summer is well placed, he is the biggest absentee in the men's draw after Stan Wawrinka finally declared himself fit enough yesterday to give it a try.

"I think attacking tennis also has a lot of wear and tear on the body", he said.

What makes this somewhat more amusing is if you look into the opponents both Wawrinka and Federer had past year in the early rounds. "Having no expectations was so nice after all these years always having expectations".

"I think past year there were periods where I was really good and really bad", he said ahead of his Australian Open first-round clash with Rogerio Dutra Silva.

"I feel like maybe somebody like a Rafa, with the year that he's had, and Novak with the six titles he's had here, even if it's unknown how he's feeling, they could very well be the favourites, too", Federer said.

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Just like 12 months ago, Federer opted to watch his new year fireworks in Western Australia. I'm so, so happy the Australian Open, it's time again. I can't believe it's been a year, but it's OK. "I have great results here but I'll take it a bit more modestly and see how my matches go".

He may be 36 but Federer has never lost his boyish enthusiasm for tennis, which has sustained him through the different periods of his career.

"When I was number one in the world, winning all these tournaments, that was a lot of fun, too".

In case you didn't know.


The 40-week grind on the tennis tour every year has worn me down.

"Is the first time I am here without playing an official match in my career". That was extremely cool. It was like a little boy in the candy store back in the day.

When asked if surgery remains an option, he said: "There are some other options, long-term options, that I will obviously revisit and address post-tournament". "Now I have a big family".

"We'll have to keep working on that because in my career there are two vital things, the serve and the return, where I start the point and where I have to attack so I don't have to run more than I need to".

Federer is on the brink of becoming the first male player to win 20 Grand Slam titles and will achieve the record if he wins the Australian Open.


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