Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian Open

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian Open

Previous year he admitted he had no love for the game, saying it is just a job and he felt "trapped".

In the absence of Andy Murray and with Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all struggling to prove their fitness, the veteran title-holder has arrived at this year's tournament as the favourite.

Only at Wimbledon (eight) has he lifted a grand slam trophy on more occasions, while the Swiss can point to his Melbourne Park record with confidence heading into this year's event.

Players have complained that the tour is too hectic but they are forced to play in maximum tournaments to keep their ranking where it is.

The American, who coached the 19-time Grand Slam victor between 2010 and 2013 after being in Pete Sampras' corner, believes that despite recently turning 36, you can never write-off the Swiss because he is such a special talent.

The Australian Open begins on Monday and, with notable absentees in both draws, there are big prices available on promising players, says Max Liu.

"I don't usually like going to draws, I just want to see the sheet".

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov and fifth seed David Goffin must face qualifiers whose identities are yet to be determined, while Marin Cilic, seeded sixth, faces Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun.

World No. 1 and top seed Rafael Nadal can breathe easy as he found himself in the relatively lesser loaded half of the draw.

"I know he's got a bit of a mixed image for some people". With its unique position at the start of the tennis calendar, there's plenty of intrigue surrounding the Australian Open.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki will open her tournament against Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu, while third seed Garbine Muguruza takes on French wildcard Jessika Ponchet. For me, it's not a big problem."Tomic has long had a fractious relationship with Tennis Australia".

They were richly rewarded, with fine hitting from two of the biggest names in the sport.

Meanwhile, 2017 Australian Open champion Serena Williams opted out of the competition, saying that her preparations had fallen just short of what she needed to be competitive after giving birth in September.

NOVAK Djokovic has made a stunning return to tennis but he was hesitant to declare that his elbow is 100 per cent fit.

The final category is the young players to watch.

Who is playing where ahead of the Australian Open? If Bellis can make it into can make it past the third round then it will be a true demonstration of her potential.

Federer ($2.75 AUD) is the favourite to win the tournament, according to Australian Gambling, with world number one and last year's Australian Open runner-up Nadal ($5.50) trailing him.

The true pretender to the throne - Dimitrov rose to world No 8 in 2014 on the back of a run to the Wimbledon semi-finals, while the "Baby Federer" nickname only heightened the expectation that this was a multiple Grand Slam champion in the making.

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