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emfizz.com January 20, 2018


Australian Open player profile: Dominic Thiem

13 January 2018, 05:17 | Andy Ferguson

Rod Laver 'Roger Federer is playing as well as he did at 21 age' 4 Jan 2018  View 5267 by Gatto Luigi

Rod Laver 'Roger Federer is playing as well as he did at 21 age'

With Nadal and Federer now entrenched as top seeds, Djokovic, a six-time champion here, has the chance to prove spoiler in his first tournament since an elbow injury forced him out of Wimbledon.

The women's side of the draw is wide open, with Serena Williams announcing last week she will not be there to defend her crown despite demonstrating her fitness in an exhibition win over Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in December.

Although Djokovic said he was delighted with his performance, especially his serve, he acknowledged that he was still not in ideal shape.

Djokovic will play in the Tie-break Tens in Melbourne on Wednesday night, alongside world No.1 Rafael Nadal, who has also had injury concerns.

Federer's four victories past year over his old foe also means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.

The 36-year-old enjoyed a stunning resurgence in 2017, claiming victories at the Australian Open and Wimbledon after an enforced time away from the game.

The triple grand slam champion has been practising in Melbourne for a week and will ramp up his Open preparation in a first-to-10 points clash with Austrian Dominic Thiem on Margaret Court Arena tonight.

"Ideally I would have had another tournament before the start of the Open, but it was not meant to be".

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Meanwhile, Nadal will begin his bid for a second Australian Open title against Victor Estrella Burgos, the world No 81 from the Dominican Republic.

The year's first Grand Slam has been hit by big-name withdrawals with the possibility of more...

Kei Nishikori is another high-profile absentee from the Australian Open.

More significant records tumbled when he beat compatriot Stan Wawrinka to become the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final since Ken Rosewall made the 1974 US Open final at the age of 39.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant when she beat Venus a year ago to claim her 23rd major title, gave birth to her first child - Alexis Olympia - in September.

Andy Murray, a five-time finalist in Melbourne, is a notable absentee from the draw after undergoing hip surgery to correct an issue that has sidelined him since the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

"There's going to be certain players who are very underdone, and you don't expect them to do particularly well", Cash said. "I'm excited about it and I've got a few days to practice".

He told reporters at Kooyong: "I don't want to be overconfident".



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