Djokovic dealt tough Australian Open draw as he plans tennis comeback

Domingo, 14 Ene, 2018

But he has already had a rough start to the season - pulling out of the Qatar Open semi-final with flu, losing to Novak Djokovic at Kooyong before pulling out as with the same virus, disrupting the world number five's build-up to the Australian Open. "Both me and Rafa are hungry and motivated". Kyrgios is aiming for a fresh assault on his home Grand Slam, where he threw away a two-sets lead to lose to Andreas Seppi in the second round last year. The ATP Tour doesn't have a dearth of talent among the mid-20s lot, it has usually been a case of superior and more expedience competition.

Top seed Rafael Nadal, who also hasn't entered any warm-up events, will take on Victor Estrella Burgos for the first time in round one and will be pretty pleased with his draw.

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. He has reached at least the semi-final stage in 13 of the last 14 Australian Opens (2015 being the exception). "But when he's on, he's on, and he's really difficult to beat".

Australian hopes will rest largely on the shoulders of 17th seed Nick Kyrgios, who won the Brisbane International on Sunday but has struggled with his temperament and openly admitted to lacking dedication in recent years.

Surprise Paris Masters winner Jack Sock may have to overcome Kevin Anderson (11) or Lucas Pouille (18), as well as Philipp Kohlschreiber (27) if he is to reach the quarter-finals.

In a women's field notably missing 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there appear to be many chances of a new Australian Open champion this year.

The Swiss marvel, chasing a sixth Australian Open crown, could also face big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the fourth round in the bottom half of the men's draw.

It was Nadal's fifth tiebreak in three days at the venue, after he headlined the Tiebreak Tens event on Wednesday night.

Thiem squibbed a simple overhead with the score at 8-8, allowing Nadal to close out the match.

"He's a great guy - he's going through the things, whatever he needs to go through".

Even if the six-time Australian Open champion should clear all those hurdles he could encounter 2017 champion Roger Federer in the semifinals. He eventually went down to Nadal but showed enough spunk to be noticed.