Tennis fans pour into Australian Open

Florence Fletcher
January 16, 2018

"Just one match at a time".

That's not bothering Roger Federer, who is returning as defending champion just 12 months after entering the season-opening Grand Slam tournament seeded 17th and uncertain of his prospects after six months off the tour with an injured left knee. The 20-year-old heads into the year's first Grand Slam ranked fourth in the world, courtesy of five titles last year.

That is giving Djokovic some hope.

"I just thought that the game and the wins weren't going to come...because I would just run into a red-hot Djokovic or Murray or Nadal or somebody and my game wasn't going to be good enough", Federer recalled.

And he knows there are doubts his arm will last the rigours of two weeks of Grand Slam tennis. "Who would predict that after his six months of absence, so ... everything is possible really". For Djokovic to be playing at the Australian Open is a positive.

Off the court, the 30-year-old Serbian said he enjoyed a closer-to-normal family life off the court, including being there when his wife, Jelena, gave birth to their second child - a daughter Tara in September. I'm really excited about what he can potentially achieve, but I think if he is able to get into that second week then that would be a very huge positive.

Now it's a less dramatic, more compact swing and he was happy with how it worked in an exhibition win over Thiem at the Kooyong Classic exhibition event earlier in the week. "A lot of changing, I feel".

"I had a great week in Brisbane".

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Djokovic has remodelled his service action under the guidance of coaches Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek in a bid to ensure the injury does not resurface. She said it didn't leave her enough time to feel confident about winning a major. His 2017 comeback could be inspiration for the likes of Djokovic, who has won the Australian title a record six times but has been sidelined since Wimbledon with a right elbow injury.

In recent months, meanwhile, ATP Finals victor Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev have moved up to No. 3 and No. 4 in the rankings, respectively, and are growing in confidence that they're on the cusp of Grand Slam breakthroughs.

"I think improving the Grand Slam performances", he said at Melbourne Park when asked what his key goal was for the year. "Hopefully I can do so (in Australia)".

Nadal skipped the year-end championship last November and delayed the start of his 2018 season, so he's also had only exhibition matches to see how his right knee has recovered.

Where do I watch the matches live on television? "I feel ready to start", she said. Bogdan also holds a winning record against Top 20 players, 2-1, with victories over Anastasija Sevastova in the Bucharest quarterfinals previous year and Elena Vesnina five weeks later in the first round of New Haven.

Nadal's career has been disrupted by injuries since 2005, but he sees a need for a more thorough examination of the tennis schedule after the latest spate of injuries.

The ninth seed said: "The fact that I'm here and I'm going to play the first one, it's a big victory".

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