Djokovic seeded 14th in Australia, Nadal top

Annette Crawford
January 13, 2018

I thought physically I would be ready, but my game and wins weren't going to come. They know I'm a professional tennis player.

The 2008 champion Maria Sharapova is unseeded and takes on 47th-ranked German Tatjana Maria in the first round in the same section of the draw.

Nadal's biggest challenge, and that of compatriot Moya, will be to beat tournament favorite and world No 2 Federer after losing all his four matches against the Swiss last season.

It was a blast from the past when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal took centre stage at the Australian Open previous year.

Roger Federer will begin the defence of his title against the former Brit Aljaz Bedene and is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic, although the Serb's participation is still in doubt as he comes back from an elbow injury.

In men's list Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Jack Sock, Stan Wawrinka, Pablo Carreno Busta completes the top ten.

World number one Nadal and defending champion Federer are seeded first and second respectively, meaning they will only meet if there is a repeat of last year's final.

China's Zhang Shuai was not as lucky, drawing 2017 US Open Champ Sloane Stephens as she attempts to recreate the success of 2016 when she made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Federer took his Grand Slam tally to 19 after extended rest breaks and Nadal, who enters his 18th season on the ATP tour, has also benefitted from carefully picking tournaments to preserve his fitness. He delayed his return until two exhibition appearances this week.

Nadal will likely coast through his section (under the condition that he is healthy), but plenty of interest in the top half of the bracket will be generated by the second quarter-or more specifically Grigor Dimitrov's eighth of the bracket.

Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic, who was denied a wildcard for the Australian Open, has insisted that he didn't want a favour anyway and that would try to earn his own way into the main draw of home Grand Slam in Melbourne.

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.

The projected women's quarterfinals include Simona Halep vs. Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza vs.

"So (it was) a huge surprise, especially after the six months I had off, and what a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year".

Serena Williams will not defend the women's title having had her first child a year ago but 2008 champion Maria Sharapova, who failed a drugs test at the tournament in 2016, is back unseeded after a ban and will face Germany's Tatjana Maria.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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