All you need to know about the Aus Open draw

Annette Crawford
January 14, 2018

It is those who have failed to make the trip Down Under - or those who have limped here carrying injuries - who are causing a stir and, as a result, both draws are supposed to be there for the taking by any young hopeful with a bit of a courage and a hefty forehand.

"I'll try to go day by day", Djokovic said. Because of the elbow, that shot in my game was compromised prior to Wimbledon in July when it actually happened that I had to stop.

Rafael Nadal suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet of France at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Australia. I haven't played in six months.

"Along the road, I had other issues".

"What these two guys have done for the sport, on and off the court, is incredible", he said. You're not just breaking down the body during matches; you're breaking it down during training.

Then there is the more cyclical matter of whether a new ruling class is at last prepared to take power on the court.

His hopes for a triumphant return at Melbourne Park were dealt a blow at the Australian Open draw on Thursday night with the Serbian set to face former top-10 player Gael Monfils in the second round before running into fourth seed Aleander Zverev and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka.

Roger Federer
GETTYRoger Federer has 19 Grand Slams to his name

The Serb admitted surprise to be ranked so highly after a long stay out of the sport, and the form of evergreen top-two Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

"Nadal, he's No 1 in the world and made the finals a year ago - I don't think I would be ahead of him as a favourite".

But he admitted he can not give himself a clear bill of health until he plays in the Australian Open next week.

The 24-year-old said he was still recovering from the illness which forced him out of the semi-finals in Doha last week and delayed his arrival into Melbourne. However, 2009 US Open victor Juan Martin Del Potro also lurks in Federer's quarter of the draw. He is the defending champion and had an unbelievable season in 2017.

Williams's sister Venus, who lost to her sibling in the final last year, is seeded fourth and the 37-year-old was handed a tricky first encounter against Swiss former world number seven Belinda Bencic, who is 17 years her junior. An extension of the trend is not out of the question with Maria Sharapova unseeded in Melbourne.

Fellow young Aussie talent Destanee Aiava has been shunted into a daunting first-round Australian Open clash with world No. 1 Simona Halep.

The trio, along with Canadian prodigy Denis Shapovalov, flamboyant Korean Hyeon Chung, Russian dynamos Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, Croatia's next-gen star Borna Coric and seemingly Australian teenage summer sensation Alex de Minaur head the list of potential grand slam champions in the future.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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