Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in same half of Australian Open draw
- Autor: Ricardo Clara Ene 14, 2018,
Ene 14, 2018, 19:01
Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, seeded 14th for this year's tournament, has a couple of potential early obstacles with American Donald Young and potentially mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round.
The official Australian Open website is currently updating with the full draw, but the link for both brackets can be found here.
Nadal isn't projected to run into any significant opposition until the third round, in which he could face No. 28 Damir Dzumhur.
Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title four months after giving birth to her first child, leaving the women's draw open.
Twelve months on from his unforgettable surge to a fifth Open crown aged 35 and in his first official tournament back after six months out of the game, Federer admits he can still barely believe what he pulled off.
Federer was seeded No. 2 behind world No. 1 Rafael Nadal has a seemingly simple opener against 51st-ranked Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, but he might be made to sweat after that.
Thiem, who only arrived in Melbourne on Monday night from Doha after four days in bed with a virus, presented only a minimal challenge to the recharged Serb. The ATP Tour doesn't have a dearth of talent among the mid-20s lot, it has usually been a case of superior and more expedience competition. "I expect to continue to do so".
His longevity has been marvelled at far and wide, underlined by the fact that his 2017 victory came 13 years after his first.
"I'll say that when I start a tournament and when I get to actually feel that it's 100 per cent".
Federer defeated Nadal in a memorable five-set final last year to win his 18th grand slam title, before later triumphing at Wimbledon. Sam Querrey (13) or Milos Raonic (22) are likely to find themselves in the firing line of the Swiss great during the round of 16.
"I'm still jet-lagged and was slow at the beginning of the match. Every athlete on this planet has to some degree some sort of injury and when I look back I don't regret anything".
Djokovic is in the same quarter as the Zverev brothers - fourth-seeded Alexander could meet older brother and No. 32-seeded Mischa in the third round - 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, and No. 5 Dominic Thiem.
"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt".
An unlikely winner at Melbourne Park in 2017 before going on to capture Wimbledon, the evergreen 36-year-old - who enjoyed a renaissance last season having been struck down by injuries in 2016 - is trusting his tried and tested preparation, having featured at the Hopman Cup in Perth just like he did last year.