Evergreen Federer is clear Australian Open favorite

"But I played for practically a year and a half with it and I decided not to talk about it because I don't want to talk about injuries". The WTA's capriciousness only makes it more exciting and fascinating as it's nearly impossible to predict what could happen over the two weeks. You're not just breaking down the body during matches; you're breaking it down during training. "I think he has a real joy for the game", she said. Former champions Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will miss the Melbourne Major but Petra Kvitova is back after she was forced to skip it previous year following career-threatening hand injuries in a home invasion.

Then there is the more cyclical matter of whether a new ruling class is at last prepared to take power on the court.

The five-set victory over the Spaniard defied all expectations that anyone had from the 36-year-old, who will be looking to go into the 2018 edition of the Open to defend his title as one of the favourites.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded ninth in Melbourne, will take on unseeded Richard Berankis in the first round.

It is only now, as the haze clears over the wreckage of the 2017 season during which many players crumbled with injury, coupled with the slow realisation that Federer and Nadal may be unable to repeat last year's exploits, that people seem to realise Djokovic's worth.

BC-TEN-Australian Open-Draw, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 632 Federer, Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian OpenAP Photo MEL111, MEL113, MEL116Eds: Edits 5th paragraph to fix typos in Goffin and Querrey. The odds are particularly in his favor if the playing conditions in Melbourne are quick, as they were previous year when he won the title by surprise after a six-month layoff.

Federer's big concern would be against del Potro in the quarters.

Alexander Zverev clinched two ATP Masters 1000 in 2017, Grigor Dimitrov won the year-ending ATP Finals and Nick Kyrgios recently won his first title on home soil. CiCi Bellis is one of the most promising young women on tour having reached the US Open second round at the age of just 15, and has reached the third round of both the French and US Opens in her short career.

In the absence of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, only two former champions are in the women's draw. An extension of the trend is not out of the question with Maria Sharapova unseeded in Melbourne.

In the women's draw, top seed Simona Halep will face Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the opening round and could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Court, a Pentecostal pastor, has strong views on homosexuality.

Fans who did not need to purchase tickets to watch qualifying at Melbourne Park were rewarded with even more free tennis, with Nadal taking on the world No. 5. So the player that does come through will all but likely have to face one of these NextGen guys. But you do not name a building after her.

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