Nadal, Halep top Australian Open seedings

Nadal, Halep top Australian Open seedings

He will open a hard road against the American Donald Young, ranked No. 63, and, if Djokovic surpasses that, he would reach probably Gael Monfils and Wawrinka, the latter a three-time Grand Slam champion, 2014 Australian champion and veteran of knee surgery that prevented a title defense last August and September in NY.

Lying in wait on his half of the draw are potential match ups against fellow Swiss, and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils, Juan Martin del Potro, and six-time champ Novak Djokovic.

Hon played in the 2016 Australian Open as a 17-year-old, falling to Germany's Annika Beck 6-0 6-3.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley in November offered him "health and wellbeing" support to try and get his career back on track.Tomic said the match against Nishioka was a good workout to judge the state of his game."I haven't played that much tennis the last six months, so anything is good for me now", he said. Home-favorite Matt Ebden pulled off an upset as he ended on the winning side against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Nowhere was that more evident than previous year when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - supposedly past their best - triumphed to make the final, Federer eventually running out the victor in five sets.

The Australian Open has been hit hard by absences with Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Kei Nishikori among those to have withdrawn, while Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also been struggling with injuries.

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Australia's charge will be led by Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty in the men's and women's tournaments respectively.

Recently, Nadal made a rusty return from his injury-layoff as he slumped to a straight sets defeat to veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the exhibition event at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

The 36-year-old gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September, and returned to the court in an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi at the end of December.

The Australian Open looks poised to be one of the most unpredictable Slams in recent memory. But players who do not "perform to the required professional standard" in round one, including by retiring, also risk being fined their prize money, the new rules say.

Any repeat this year and he would lose the lot.

To choose a potential "dark horse" for the title is slightly easier as both draws are wide open. It's great to get the feeling once again of playing a match. Now ranked 23rd, Raonic was at least able to play his scheduled warm-up tournament in Brisbane but lost his opening match to Australian teenager Alex De Minaur. In recent years women's tennis has become incredibly unpredictable, with there being at least ten serious contenders for every grand slam.

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