Experts' picks: Is it Roger Federer time, again, at the Australian Open?


"Right after I finished the match, I watched it the following day", said Dimitrov of his epic Melbourne encounter with Nadal. "It's up for grabs".

The pair split the four grand slam trophies between them past year, with Nadal, at 31, finishing the season as the ATP rankings' oldest No.1.

Pundits have tipped 17th seed Kyrgios, who opens against unheralded Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva, to go deep in this tournament but the Australian trotted out the well-worn cliche of "one game at a time". "But I feel good". I feel OK. I feel fit.

Rafael Nadal showed that talk of his demise had been exaggerated by winning the French and U.S. Open titles previous year although he faces a battle to repeat those feats without his lifelong coach and uncle Toni while also fighting familiar injury troubles. "I have one more goal: to win a Grand Slam". "I like to just stay in my own little bubble and do my own thing". That's it. Everything that he wants to do with me, I am happy with, no?

"I've introduced new people to my team".

Djokovic said his elbow wasn't 100 percent rehabilitated, but he was convinced by medical experts that he wouldn't do any further damage by playing in Australia.

There are plenty of other contenders, too.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, seeded 14th for this year's tournament, has a couple of potential early obstacles with American Donald Young and potentially mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round. Dimitrov was upset by the #NextGenATP Russian at the US Open last season-and only time will tell if he learned from that match.

2017 was the year for the over 30s as all four men's Grand Slams were won by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The 22-year-old Australian clinched his fourth title at the lead-up Brisbane International, easing concerns over a troublesome hip while raising excitement levels about his prospects at his home grand slam.

He won all four of his matches against Nadal, but in his 37th year would be the last to take his fitness for granted.

"I had a great week in Brisbane".

"It's not entirely different, but at the beginning even those small tweaks and changes have made a lot of difference mentally", he said.

But she added this alone isn't enough in today's constantly shifting, ultra-competitive women's game.

Despite the tough draw and the toll that 2017 would've had on his body, Federer is the favourite to win his 20th major in a fortnight's time.

To try and simplify the generation-ageing process, I came up with a simple methodology.

Federer says the likes of six-times champion Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, both returning after lengthy injury breaks, could benefit from the same mindset he arrived with in Melbourne past year, when he was just back from a six-month hiatus.