Federer embraces Australian Open favouritism

Domingo, 14 Ene, 2018

As much as Federer and Nadal fed off each other, it was not until last January that the dynamic of their match-up evolved into a more complex cat and mouse game.

19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is placed as second seed while Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Germany's Alexander Zverev have been named third and fourth seed, respectively, the Daily Express reported.

While Konta has been in poor form of late and doesn't appear to be 100%, she has a strong record in Melbourne and a combination of her new coach and an Australian crowd that will readopt her will guide her to the title.

Dimitrov has been tipped to challenge in Melbourne after winning last year's ATP Finals in London, but there are two immediate threats to the Bulgarian in the form of mercurial home hope Nick Kyrgios (17) and entertaining Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (15).

The Melbourne Park might witness a blockbuster semi-final as Federer and Novak Djokovic, who is seeded 14th on his return after a six-month injury layoff, have been drawn in the same half.

"Possibly, but this time we're a long way away in the draw", he added. He is seeking consecutive major wins for the first time since winning the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2010.

Shapovalov beat del Potro when the pair first met in Montreal last year, but the 18-year-old made too many errors Wednesday to repeat that performance.

The BBC will be showing highlights on some days throughout the competition, with a schedule of their coverage here.

Berdych, the 17th seed, has never lost to an Australian at a Grand Slam in seven matches.

"But I played for practically a year and a half with it and I decided not to talk about it because I don't want to talk about injuries".

Karolina Pliskova is attracting some interest with the bookies (Picture: Getty Images)Where can you live stream the Australian Open?

Federer's four victories last year over his old foe also means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.

Australia's singles contingent could be boosted with John Patrick Smith, Bernard Tomic, James Duckworth, Brad Mousley and Patricia Hon still in contention.

These will have to wait till the later stages of the tournament - Djokovic's current ranking of 14 has handed him a rough draw. The Swiss could join Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori on the star absentee list. Referring to the final set of the thriller, which he won 6-3, he said: "It was an amazing final, an amazing moment for me in my life and it's great to be back here", as quoted by the Express.

"When you see those type of opportunities, you need to be able to seize them", he said.

They were richly rewarded, with fine hitting from two of the biggest names in the sport. "The courts are playing a little bit faster so hopefully that will help my serve".

When Djokovic first came of age, Federer and Nadal were at the zenith.

Rafael Nadal suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet of France at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Australia. The Serb opens against Donald Young but then could meet Gael Monfils in the second then Zverev in the fourth following by a Wawrinka in quarters.

There is also the Plexicushion court to consider, which, in spite of repeated denials by the authorities, looked faster than ever last year. She did not drop a set in Hopman Cup play and will play for the Sydney title against Ashleigh Barty.