Federer, Djokovic on same side of Australian Open draw

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What was more concerning, albeit in an exhibition, was his performance against retired 36-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals of the event - first to 10 points - having survived match points against the Australian.

Austrian world No.5 Dominic Thiem insists he'll be fit for the start of the Australian Open as he recovers from a virus and jet-lag.

The Spaniard, after a couple of barren years in 2015 and 2016, contested three of the four grand slam finals in 2017.

Nadal's portion of the draw holds few major concerns for the 16-time slam winner, whose first potential seeded opponent is world number 28 Damir Dzumhur.

If she does manage to beat the American - and with Konta sitting 83 ranking spots above Brengle at No9 in the world, that seems likely - there are a host of obstacles cluttering her path to the sharp end of the tournament, not the least of which is the ominous sight of Simona Halep, the world No1, waiting for her in the quarter-finals.

Organizers defended the decision to invite Sharapova to appear as the representative for the women's draw, with tournament director Craig Tiley saying the sanction was over and the 30-year-old Russian was there as a former champion. "I thought I had everything under control but then after that first set, everything kind of slipped away from me", Dimitrov said.

Djokovic and Wawrinka, though, are yet to demonstrate that they have fully recovered from the respective elbow and knee injuries that have sidelined the pair since August.

"I personally didn't know what's going to happen".

Roger Federer found himself in a slightly awkward position before the Australian Open draw. The seeding for the January Slam was announced on Wednesday (11th January) by the authorities that be.

"Last year's season was a bit long and I had to start a little bit later than I would've liked".

He was playing extremely well last week in Brisbane, taking on Grigor Dimitrov stroke for stroke in the quarter-finals in Brisbane, and then he lost his footing, rolled his ankle and fell over. He is seeking consecutive major wins for the first time since winning the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2010.

"This is not normal", Federer told a crowd of hundreds of fans before the draw on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena. You're not just breaking down the body during matches; you're breaking it down during training. "Tennis is full of variables every single week: temperature, humidity, racket tension, balls, court surface, court speed, and then because the sport is so much more physical, you have to train harder".