Australian Open player profile: Dominic Thiem

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Though his withdrawal from Doha was disappointing, Thiem will certainly be ready for the Australian Open.

"Hopefully after the (Australian) Open, I will get a break which is what I want and what I need".

Serena Williams says her break from tennis to become a mother for the first time will not stop her returning to the game.

The world number two's bid for a 20th grand slam title will be aided by lingering injuries to top players like Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as well as the absences of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori. Halep, the top seed for the women (and who has yet to win a Grand Slam title) will open against Destanee Aiava.

"I played better than I thought might happen (on Wednesday) and most importantly I played without pain".

Former World No 1 Azarenka hasn't played since Wimbledon previous year.

Roger Federer is fully prepared for the expectations that will accompany him at the Australian Open, as the 36-year-old prepares to defend his title.

"I remember it was a handsome place and ever since I fell in love with Australia."In a happy place physically, the 36-year-old Federer is also in a happy place mentally as he travels alongside wife Mirka, their twin daughters Myla and Charlene, as well as twin sons Leo and Lenny". I think the sport needs a strong rivalry because that's good for fans.

"There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year", said Djokovic, who had not played since retiring in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last July. "Because obviously I'm playing well under pressure and in pressure situations", said Kyrgios, whose talent has often been undermined by petulant outbursts.

An unlikely victor at Melbourne Park in 2017 before going on to capture Wimbledon, the evergreen 36-year-old - who enjoyed a renaissance last season having been struck down by injuries in 2016 - is trusting his tried and tested preparation, having featured at the Hopman Cup in Perth just like he did last year.

"I'm just excited going back to Melbourne where I had my fairytale run a year ago".

"I think he's incredibly talented - we had a great match in Miami past year and also at the Laver Cup".

"I always played to be able to compete in one of these big tournaments". Former world No. 1 Moya will lead the Mallorcan's team, after spending last season with Rafael and Toni preparing for the latter's retirement, having helped Nadal roar back to life after a barren three-year spell without a Grand Slam trophy.

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