After that, John Isner (16) or Diego Schwartzman (24) could meet the Spaniard in the round of 16. It never fails to serve up surprising storylines and 2018 promises to be no different. However, her inconsistency in recent months will be her undoing and will be a big miss for a tournament lacking star names. "It's great to get the feeling once again of playing a match".
Roger Federer will open his Australian Open title defence against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene next week, while top seed Rafa Nadal, the losing finalist last year, was paired with Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos at the draw yesterday.
That was two more than managed by former champion Stan Wawrinka, whose participation remained uncertain after he withdrew from the pre-Open Tiebreak Tens event, a quickfire T20-style form of the game.
Djokovic will begin this tournament ranked number 14 in the world and seriously lacking any kind of form after being out injured for the second half of last season. He won 70 of his 76 matches and even went 41 matches without a defeat.
The Fed Express is looking to make it 20 grand slams this year in Melbourne, a place that has brought him much success and happiness.
Flanders, the northern region of Belgium and the home of the Flemish Masters, remains one of the world's most culturally sophisticated regions. "It was the highlight of last year, beating Wimbledon and all the other tournaments I played". Dominic Thiem, the fifth seed, tackles Guido Pella. His opponents in finals were on average ranked 5.75.
1 ranking, Becker replied: 'A year ago, it would be a great surprise, but I think we underestimate their qualities as tennis players, but especially their passion and love for the game.
But, beneath the gleaming Djokovic exterior, cracks appeared, first emerging in Melbourne. She could face a daunting test in the third round from either Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, or Maria Sharapova, the 2008 winner.
Sights and sounds aside, Federer was also inspired by Australia's legends of the past, in particular a talented trio that notched up no less than 31 grand slam titles between them.
There will be many that question the 30-year-old's chances of coming anywhere near to winning a record seventh Australian Open but the very fact he is going to be competing will prove an unwelcome sight for his main rivals. He triggered improvements in others too. But so did Federer. Additional watch-ability, for one.
Muguruza's preparations have been similarly thrown into disarray after she was forced to withdraw from the Sydney International with a leg injury. So is Djokovic's match-up against World No. 1 Nadal.
If Djokovic should be expected to get through the early rounds, the challenge then steps up significantly in the fourth round where world No 4 Alexander Zverev awaits, if the draw goes according to seeding.
Would the 2017 Federer vs. Nadal revival have been as memorable in three sets?
Switzerland's Roger Federer walks on to the court before his semi final match against Belgium's David Goffin. "This is the one I guess that is my most consistent Slam potentially".
Qualifying is free to attend, but with no matches underway due to wet weather, the crowd quickly made their way to the show court.
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