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Australian Open draw: Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams face tough roads

14 Enero 2018, 07:30 | Gerardo Tarin

2018 Australian Open: Follow the men's and women's draws live

Wawrinka Murray Djokovic Federer and Nadal lined up against each other for the ATP finals several years ago. These days they hardly ever all feature in the same tournament

They were all square after two sets, with Thiem winning a first-set tiebreak before Nadal hit his straps in the second set.

Top-seeded Simona Halep opens against the wild card Destanee Aiava, and could face the slumping star Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.

Former world No 1 Moya will lead Nadal's team, after spending last season with Rafa and Toni preparing for the latter's retirement, having helped Nadal roar back to life after a barren three-year spell without a Grand Slam trophy.

Djokovic, returning from injury, has his work cut out for him Down Under. The American is 5th in the seeding.

Raonic suffered two injuries in 2017 which largely curtailed his season.

The trio, along with Canadian prodigy Denis Shapovalov, flamboyant Korean Hyeon Chung, Russian dynamos Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, Croatia's next-gen star Borna Coric and seemingly Australian teenage summer sensation Alex de Minaur head the list of potential grand slam champions in the future.

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

The van Eyck brothers' Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, a Flemish Primitive altarpiece, represents a milestone in art history, and is the pride of the port city Ghent.

"The most important thing is to feel the conditions, to get comfortable", he said. It didn't seem to trouble Australia's big hope, who went on to win the tournament.

Eight players retired from the first round at the All-England Club, including the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic during the second sets of their matches on Centre Court. The most recent match was last year in Nottingham, a match he won in straight sets. 16 qualifiers make up the remainder of the draw.

But, after beating Thiem 6-1 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic, Djokovic declared himself happy.

The 2008 Australian Open runner-up withdrew from the Qatar Open before it started with a wrist injury a month after leading his country France to victory in the Davis Cup.

"You see how physical it is on the court, and then you see the traveling and the challenge of our sport versus others in terms of time zone changes and the variables in conditions", said Justin Gimelstob, an ATP board member and former player and coach.

Venus will open against Belinda Bencic, a tough go for her first matchup.

First up, the 36-year-old Swiss will play Ajaz Bedene of Slovenia.

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.



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