Abril 26, 2018

Nadal, Federer top seeds in Melbourne

14 Enero 2018, 05:33 | Gerardo Tarin

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Marin Cilic

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

"I'll train hard over the next few days for the Australian Open, I will be ready".

As ever, the time difference is going to make following the action a bit awkward for those of us in the UK, but you can still watch it all, if you don't mind becoming partially nocturnal for a couple of weeks.

Some of the tensest, drama-filled moments at the Grand Slams come when a top-ranked player falls behind two sets to none to a lesser-ranked opponent.

"I think it's normal because there's a lot of expectations this year", he was quoted as saying by the Australian Open website. The seeding for the January Slam was announced on Wednesday (11th January) by the authorities that be.

Roger Federer has revealed that last year's Australian Open win over Rafael Nadal in the final saw some of the best tennis he has ever played in his life. Obviously, if he's off to a fast start and looks good, Djokovic has to be a favorite to win this title, something he's done six times.

"This is not normal", Federer told a crowd of hundreds of fans before the draw on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena. Instead, I believe that Grigor Dimitrov will build upon his heart-breaking semi-final loss to Nadal last year in Melbourne, as well as his world Tour Finals victory to allow him to finally fulfil the nickname 'Baby Fed'.

Young gun Zverev had little luck in his first Australian Open draw as a top five seed with either Wawrinka, who plays Ricardas Berankis, or Novak Djokovic potentially standing in his path in the quarter-finals. The Swiss could join Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori on the star absentee list.

The 20-year-old Zverev might have a tough task at hand.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded ninth in Melbourne, will take on unseeded Richard Berankis in the first round. "During the match the pain has been there".

He withdrew from a warm-up tournament in Abu Dhabi and last week's Brisbane International and had been concerned with his match fitness.

"Unbelievable. In my vision, I never had this, that I was going to be playing tennis with four kids".

Novak Djokovic and Donald Young meet in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.

What then can one expect in 2018, as the 12-time Major winner finds himself in the middle of another Fedal narrative?

"Exactly two years ago, 2016 Australian Open was when the problem with the elbow started", Djokovic said. Battling illness, the Argentinian came back from the dead against Dominic Thiem before shocking Roger Federer and went on to finish the season very strongly. History shows that a top player has to be among the top, say among the top 25 for a period of time, to move into the top five.

But, beneath the gleaming Djokovic exterior, cracks appeared, first emerging in Melbourne.

Third-seeded Muguruza is in a difficult quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, and U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys. That's when the tournament, aided by a date change from late December to early January, moved into Melbourne Park.

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