Uncle Toni still 'more than anything' for Nadal

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"Until it's done, I don't want to have any (sixth) sense, to be honest", the Bulgarian told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday. "It was definitely my highlight of 2017".

His surprising Australian Open title run opened the gates for the Swiss to achieve greater feats this year, as he followed it up with back-to-back wins at Indian Wells and Miami and nabbed his 19th Grand Slam title in his marquee event at All-England club.

Federer is already tops the all-time list of Grand Slam winners with 19 but Nadal, five years his junior, is just three behind.

Djokovic will be seeded 14th in Melbourne and opens against American Donald Young on Tuesday, with Frenchman Gael Monfils and German fourth seed Alexander Zverev also in his section of the draw. Battling illness, the Argentinian came back from the dead against Dominic Thiem before shocking Roger Federer and went on to finish the season very strongly. "But when he's on, he's really difficult to beat".

The pair split the four grand slam trophies between them last year, with Nadal, at 31, finishing the season as the ATP rankings' oldest world number one. "What he does with his training doesn't get spoken about a lot, but he works his butt off", McEnroe said. Dimitrov, the world's No.3 seems to be intent, at 26, to become the player he has threatened to be since he was 20.

The waiting is almost over for tennis fans.

The Spaniard withdrew from tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane after beginning his preparations for 2018 later than usual amid reports he was still struggling with a knee injury.

Serena Williams may not be around to defend her title this year but sister Venus will be looking to go one better to claim a fifth singles title Down Under.

Agassi had to modify his own service motion because of an injury in his career and he had input into the redesign for Djokovic. "Even if it's 100 percent healed, after six months of no competition, you never know how you're going to react", the 30-year-old added. Both were said and thought to be over the hill but at the 2017 Australian Open, they showed [they met in the final] that they were not ready to abdicate their thrones.

Djokovic said the injury had been bothering him for about 18 months before the pain, which he felt on his serve, became too much.

Year after year the bright sparks and 'Next Big Things' have been denied by the 'Big Four' at the slams. If he gets through this minefield, then a 20th Grand Slam title might just suffice.