Australian Open 2017-18: Rafael Nadal seeded top in Men's single


"Roger with the year he had last year and Nadal, I don't think I'll be the favourite".

In the absence of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, only two former champions are in the women's draw.

To predict a victor of either of the singles titles is hard. [Thanasi] Kokkinakis is a good player, too.

Caroline Wozniacki, seeded two, will be fancying her chances of a first grand slam title, while who would bet against Venus Williams flying the family flag at 37 years of age, although a first round against Belinda Bencic is a tough opening hurdle.

While the men's side is arguably easier to predict given the lack of serious contenders for grand slam titles, question marks hang over the usual suspects.

The Australian Open begins on Monday and, with notable absentees in both draws, there are big prices available on promising players, says Max Liu. Nadal, the other favourite for the title, is a doubt for the tournament, as is Djokovic with an elbow injur.

“I dont want to be overconfident, but Im very, very happy with how it went today, ” added the 30-year-old. Instead, I believe that Grigor Dimitrov will build upon his heart-breaking semi-final loss to Nadal a year ago in Melbourne, as well as his world Tour Finals victory to allow him to finally fulfil the nickname "Baby Fed".

Should he succeed, Federer will move onto six Australian Open crowns - the joint highest tally of any man alongside Djokovic and Roy Emerson.

"I personally didn't know what's going to happen". She could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarters. He also has No. 7-ranked David Goffin, Juan Martin del Potro, Sam Querrey, and Milos Raonic in his quarter. But injury has so often been a problem for the big Argentine.

This time, Federer breezily walked into the Australian Open drawcarrying the trophy just a few days after helping Switzerland win the Hopman Cup mixed team even.

Wawrinka's own attempts to prove his fitness have not proved so fruitful.

During the four months since Rafael Nadal's closing, charging, vaguely awkward, utterly effective backhand volley went through the court untouched to end the U.S. Open, the 2018 Australian Open promised a Grand Slam pretty much unparalleled.

Williams withdrew after having given birth last September, Murray with the hip injury that short-circuited his 2017 season last July at Wimbledon, and Nishikori with the wrist that has made him inactive on the ATP Tour since last August in Montreal.

The final category is the young players to watch.

Here's a look at some of the storylines that could define Australian Open 2018.

If Sharapova manages to get through that one, she could then face an in-form Kerber in the third round before possibly Muguruza in the last-16.

Should Djokovic come through that, he could face France's former world No 6 Gael Monfils, who enters the Australian Open as the recently-crowned Qatar Open champion - a tournament Djokovic has twice won but opted to miss this year to continue his recovery.