Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in same half in Australian Open

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in same half in Australian Open Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in same half in Australian Open
Sammy Stanley | 13 January, 2018, 05:40

The six-time Grand Slam champion - who coached the Serb to win six of his 12 majors - expects the 36-year-old to pick up where he left off from 2017 and to be the man to beat this season.

World No. 1 and tournament top seed Nadal, who lost to Federer at last year's Australian Open final, trails him at A$5.50.

"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt".

Roger Federer is the "clear favourite" to retain his Australian Open title over an injury-riddled field when the first Grand Slam of the season starts next week in Melbourne, tennis analysts said on Wednesday.

Federer defeated Nadal in a memorable five-set final previous year to win his 18th grand slam title, before later triumphing at Wimbledon.

Sharapova said after a long time out she had to be patient coming back to the tour, but was still confident of returning to the top ranking and winning major tournaments.

And so if the 2017 Australian Open was one for the ages - the revival of the Federer- Nadal rivalry and another Williams sisters final - the 2018 edition is shaping as a survival of the fittest. "I'm excited about it and I've got a few days to practice".

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Actor Gary Oldman took home the Best Actor award for his outstanding portrayal as Winston Churchill in the film Darkest Hour . Guillermo del Toro and the cast and crew of The Shape of Water accept the award for best picture .

It was a welcome sight for Australian Open organisers and fans following the withdrawals of five-time runner-up Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori as well as 23-time slam victor Serena Williams on the women's side, but Djokovic insisted he is still not 100 per cent fit with the tournament set to get underway on Monday.

"I feel my biggest expectation is from myself", Venus Williams said, dismissing any notion that age or expectations will weigh heavily on her.

"It was the highlight of past year, beating Wimbledon and all the other tournaments I played".

It was the first year since 2009 that Djokovic didn't reach at least one Grand Slam final.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia thanks the crowd after defeating Dominic Thiem of Austria in the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, on Wednesday.

Top-ranked Simona Halep is in the same half as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who has a hard quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.

'I am trying to do everything possible to get my arm and my elbow ready for the Open. They know I'm a professional tennis player. "Everything at the moment is going in the right direction".

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