Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Djokovic sweats on fitness ahead of Australian

Djokovic sweats on fitness ahead of Australian

Fellow young Aussie talent Destanee Aiava has been shunted into a daunting first-round Australian Open clash with world No. 1 Simona Halep. "Australians are always getting great support here". I take it the right way.

The world number two's bid for a 20th grand slam title will be aided by lingering injuries to top players like Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as well as the absences of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori.

Williams left Melbourne a year ago with a 23rd grand slam title under her belt but soon hung up her racket for the remainder of 2017 upon discovering she was eight weeks pregnant at the time of her triumph.

"I played better than I thought might happen [on Wednesday] and most importantly I played without pain". He will play world No 100 Rogerio Dutra-Silva in what ought to be an untroubled opener before a projected third-round meeting with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Nadal reached last year's final before falling to Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set match.

The 30-year-old said he was "very happy with how it went" after his first competitive game since Wimbledon.

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Williams' quarter also includes fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina and 13th-seeded Sloane Stephens, who won last year's U.S. Open but has lost all seven matches she's played since. The flashback slam got the finish it deserved when Federer outlasted his good friend Nadal in a colossal five-set battle on Rod Laver Arena.

"Last year's season was a bit long and I had to start a little bit later than I would've liked". He's been out injured since Wimbledon but the fact that's he's won here six times, including his first Slam back in 2008, means he can not be ignored. "Because obviously I'm playing well under pressure and in pressure situations", said Kyrgios, whose talent has often been undermined by petulant outbursts.

Nadal's first official match is scheduled to take place at the Australian Open, following his withdrawal from the Brisbane International tournament and from an exhibition held in Abu Dhabi.

When asked if he will play in the Grand Slam that starts next week, he added: "For now, I'm in the tournament".

"I don't want to be over-confident", he said.

"I knew that I can not make it with only Futures so I had to step up my game and try to compete at a higher level", explains Maamoun. With a good draw and some strong performances in the early rounds, Thiem could go on a strong run in Melbourne this year.

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