Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer earn top two seeds for Australian Open

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer earn top two seeds for Australian Open

To reduce stress on the elbow which has caused him issues since the start of 2016, Djokovic's take-back of the racket is now shorter.

Instead, it will settle for being a tour de force loaded with high-level curiosities.

Federer will open his title defence against Slovenia's 51st-ranked Aljaz Bedene and has a potential quarter-final with David Goffin.

"It was a great start, it feels really good to be back on the court", a beaming Djokovic said in an on-court interview after his first competitive set since Wimbledon past year.

But he admitted he can not give himself a clear bill of health until he plays in the Australian Open next week.

Seeded down in 14th after not playing competitively since Wimbledon, six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is up against Donald Young.

His hopes for a triumphant return at Melbourne Park were dealt a blow at the Australian Open draw on Thursday night with the Serbian set to face former top-10 player Gael Monfils in the second round before running into fourth seed Aleander Zverev and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka. Yet nobody knows how any of this year's rusty sorts might function, or how those who have grabbed their formerly unattainable rankings will function with fresh pressure.

Britain's Andy Murray and Japan's Kei Nishikori have already withdrawn from the championships and women's world number three Garbine Muguruza has twice pulled out of tournaments over the last two weeks due to leg cramps and a thigh problem.

Federer arrives for AO18        The defending champion has his first hit on RLA                                
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Federer arrives for AO18 The defending champion has his first hit on RLA Share this

He also ran across a player of intrigue in the run-up tournaments. Kyrgios won their most recent match in the Brisbane International semi-finals.

"Roger has an ability to be mature and be very objective and also expansive in his thinking so that he is able to make sure that this messaging is similar, simple and unified", adds the American.

By Richard MartinNadal begins new era without mentor Toni in Australia as Carlos Moya takes charge in his team. Lleyton Hewitt reached the final in 2005, falling to Marat Safin.

With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic among the walking wounded and Serena Williams already deciding not to defend her title, injuries and absentees have been the focus of attention ahead of the Australian Open.

She said: "I have pain in my right adductor".

The Swiss legend, who starts as favourite to win his 20th Grand Slam title, has been handed a tough draw as he could face either 22nd seed Milos Raonic or 13th seed Sam Querrey as early as in the fourth round. No. 1 seed Simona Halep, 26, has reached two Grand Slam finals and two semifinals. He's been out injured since Wimbledon but the fact that's he's won here six times, including his first Slam back in 2008, means he can not be ignored.

Sock or in-form 11th-seeded Kevin Anderson could face Dimitrov in the quarters.

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