Defending champion Roger Federer says rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic should be seen as leading contenders for the Australian Open as he is too old to be considered favourite. Top-ranked Nadal will get under way Monday night against Victor Estrella Burgos on Rod Laver Arena, where he lost the final in five sets to Federer a year ago.
"Whenever I get asked that question, it always comes across in really kind of an nearly negative way instead of acknowledging how many great players we have", the world number nine said.
Federer instead looked to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as more suitable favourites. "You just see it in every round, in tournaments, in slams".
"For me, the Australian Open always, if you are not 100 percent motivated to play this tournament, you probably you don't love this sport", he said.
While time will tell if Murray's initial optimism about playing at Wimbledon this summer is well placed, he is the biggest absentee in the men's draw after Stan Wawrinka finally declared himself fit enough yesterday to give it a try.
Nadal played 78 matches a year ago, which is 21 more than Federer. "All the five-setters, as well", he said. Having no expectations was so nice after all these years always having expectations, like now this year again.
"I mean, Roger and Rafa's year last year has shown age is just a number, especially in Roger's case", Djokovic said Saturday in his pre-tournament news conference. "That's why I see things more relaxed, you know, at a later stage of my career", explained Federer. Maria Sharapova is also an intriguing one to watch, as she competes in her first Australian Open since 2016 after sitting out past year due to suspension.
Federer begins his quest to match Djokovic's six Open wins against Slovenia's world No.49 Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday.
Loving Federer having a ball at 36
De Minaur has the chance to continue his giant killing spree with an unfavourable first round Australian Open clash against world no.20 Tomas Berdych.
The 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka also makes his return from the sidelines, while a host of maiden major-title hopefuls will be looking to make their breakthrough at Melbourne Park. No man has more Australian titles than Djokovics six, and until last years shocking second-round exit, he had won five of the six contested from 2011-16.
She led the WTA Tour in prize money last year ahead of Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep, who ended the year at No. 1.
Kyrgios comes into the tournament in great form after winning the Brisbane International, and the effortless way he defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-final was a reminder of just how good he can be when he is fully focused.
"Yeah, it's great times in my life and in my career that we can make it all work, that I can still play tennis".
No such queries hang over his fitness this year and if bookmakers are to be believed the other 127 men in the draw will be fighting for the scraps from Federer's plate.
"It's been constantly playing, practice how hopefully I can play during the Australian Open".
Nadal, who is gunning for a 17th major title but only his second Australian Open crown, is making up for lost time from a knee injury at the tail-end of the 2017 season.
Girl Scout cookie season kicks off this weekend
Cookie customers and the public can ask Girl Scouts for a secret code and enter it online for a chance to win. Girl Scouts of Central Illinois serves more than 17,000 girls and 4,000 adult members in 38 counties.
The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude but Chinese officials say there is no major slick. There are 13 vessels near where the collision took place, including two Japanese ships and a South Korean one.
The oldest victim swept away in a California mudslide was Jim Mitchell, who had celebrated his 89th birthday the day before. Santa Barbara County Fire Search Dog Reilly looks for victims in damaged and destroyed homes in Montecito.
SUNDAY: Partly to mostly cloudy skies and snow flurries will be possible, with a frigid high temperature of 24 degrees. As we head into the evening and overnight hours, expect to see sleet showers and freezing rain .
No member of the San Francisco defense had more tackles for loss than Foster, who finished the year with seven. Tuscaloosa County deputies arrested Foster, who as of 10:15 p.m. was still listed as an inmate in the jail.
Several African leaders, ambassadors and different dignitaries have expressed shock and pain following President Trump's comments. Mushikiwabo had accompanied multiple delegates to meet President Paul Kagame at his office in Village Urugwiro.
Polling stations open at 1300 GMT on Friday and close at 2100 before reopening at 0700 GMT and closing at 1300 on Saturday. Mr Drahos knows he has a good chance of unseating Mr Zeman when the two men go head to head in two weeks' time, he adds.
In the short term, despite being well-tailored to the local audience, UFC 221 was a one-fight card for the rest of the world. Rockhold will instead face Yoel Romero for an interim belt in the main event of the card on February 11 in Perth, Australia.
But a few months ago they moved into a home in the town of Seminole, Okla. where they couldn't keep her anymore. So the dog, named Cathleen , went to a home in Prague until the animal shelter could find a new owner.
Fiat Chrysler to invest $1B in MI plant
The company will relocate the truck's production from its current location in Saltillo, Mexico, to the MI plant in 2020. The creation of 2,500 new jobs will support an expansion at Fiat Chrysler's Warren Truck Assembly Plant in MI .
Below-par Blues held by Leicester
In the other Premier League games on Saturday, Crystal Palace edged past Burnley 1-0, thanks to a first half goal by Bakary Sako. October 2017: After United beat Benfica in the Champions League, Mourinho aimed a jibe at Conte: "I never speak about injuries".
Royal pain: Queen reveals downside of her 65-year reign
A trapdoor used to access the secret area at Windsor Castle, where the Queen spent her war years for safety, still exists today. The royal family's Crown Jewels were hidden in a biscuit tin during the Second World War, a new documentary has revealed.
Baby milk scare deepens in France
Some of the retailers concerned have accepted joint responsibility, but it's still not clear how the recall was bungled. A number of supermarkets in France, including Carrefour, have removed the products over fears of contamination.
Iran's Rouhani: Trump 'Failed to Undermine Nuclear Deal'
With no solution yet forthcoming from Congress Mr Trump on Friday reluctantly extended a waiver on the nuclear-related sanctions. The Iranian nuclear deal was drawn up in 2015 under former President Barack Obama , with Iran, the USA and five other nations.