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Evergreen Federer is clear Australian Open favourite — Tennis

14 Enero 2018
Evergreen Federer is clear Australian Open favourite — Tennis

Nadal could face sixth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals before a meeting with third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals - the round in which he beat Dimitrov in five sets last year.

Recently, Nadal made a rusty return from his injury-layoff as he slumped to a straight sets defeat to veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the exhibition event at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

Women's top seed Simona Halep of Romania faces Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the first round, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki starting out against Halep's compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Dimitrov's first stern test is likely to come from Kyrgios in a fourth-round blockbuster.

"This is a guy who is so relaxed..."

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

For a man who has enjoyed such domination in the sport, holding the top spot in the rankings for over four years, it will feel a tad strange entering this particular Grand Slam some way down the list of favourites. "But I don't want to say it's 100 per cent".

The mercurial Australian ended his season in October after revealing the reoccurrence of a hip injury he suffered at the Queen's Club championships. The two modern day greats who squared off in an epic in last year's final will once again have an opportunity to add another chapter to their famous FEDAL rivalry. "To me, he's the clear favourite".

Nadal begins his campaign against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic while Roger Federer takes on Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. The fifth set was maybe the best set I ever played.

Federer’s decision to forgo the clay-court season paid off with the Wimbledon title last year
Federer’s decision to forgo the clay-court season paid off with the Wimbledon title last year Andrew Couldridge Reuters

The Austrian World No 5 pulled out of the warm-up Qatar Open just hours before his semi-final against Gael Monfils with flu.

Camera IconNick Kyrgios was on fire at the Brisbane International. Muguruza faces a race against time to be fit for her first round match against Jessika Ponchet.

She said: "I have pain in my right adductor".

In the women's bracket, Serena Williams will miss the Australian Open as she recovers from her pregnancy, but Venus Williams has an extremely difficult draw herself.

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

Bookmakers are also expecting the world number two to successfully defend his title.

Australian breakout star Ash Barty will be leading the Australian hopes after being seeded 18th.

Defending men's champion Roger Federer will be present for the draw, as will Russian Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova. At the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, one can even witness the live restoration of this most stolen artwork of all time.

"But based on what I've seen so far..."