January 20, 2018

Federer says he should not be favourite at 36

14 January 2018, 04:22 | Randolph Howard

Wozniacki feeling no extra pressure ahead of Australian Open

Australian Open Live Stream 2018 Free Without Cable United States How to Watch Online

In backing up his magical Open triumph with an eighth Wimbledon title, Federer' achieved a two-slam year for the first time since 2009, and also collected Masters 1000 trophies in Miami and Indian Wells to storm back into the world's top two.

"It's like, let's just see what happens".

"I've always enjoyed it, you know". Considering his age and that he had never had such a long time away from the game owing to injury, it was probably the first time in a decade and a half that no one gave him a realistic chance of being in contention for a non-clay major.

Nadal, who won the French and U.S. Open titles past year, has also had a limited preparation restricted to couple of exhibition matches last week as he recovers from a sore knee.

"I think it's the players".

Nick Kyrgios is a legitimate contender heading into the Australian Open. Wawrinka hasn't played since the first round of Wimbledon at the start of July, while Raonic's comeback last week wasn't almost good enough, facing 10 break points in defeat in his first match back against youngster Alex de Minaur.

Petchey, though, believes Nadal can play himself into form, giving him a good chance of winning just his second Australian Open title.

"I've played thousands of matches in my life, and I'm sure I've gotten lucky throughout my career, but sometimes you have to take a minute and talk to the team about it, like how we're going to approach these next three months, next year, next day", he said.

Schiavone, 37, may be coming towards the end of her career, but the 2010 French Open champion can still cause a shock here if Ostapenko has an off day. "The draws are always tough".

"My focus needs to be early because I have my own problems, you know, to get through my section of the draw, my game".

Federer, seeded second, arrives for a first round match against mid-ranked Slovenian Aljaz Bedene after cruising through an undefeated run at the Hopman Cup.

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But after sweeping to all four slams in a wildly retro 2017, the living legends are back in Australia as the world's top-two players and favoured to extend their compelling grand slam rivalry to a 14th year.

Is it going to be another Federer-Nadal show?

Federer appeared typically relaxed - and well prepared - ahead of his 72nd major.

All the signs are there that the Aussie excitement machine has what it takes to go deep at Melbourne Park.

Just don't describe the first Grand Slam of the year as "more open" than usual. The 30-year-old certainly seemed enthused by his comeback win over Dominic Thiem in Kooyong, but that first appearance since July will not alone defuse concerns that his elbow is still a concern after withdrawing from Doha.

"I kind of want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year rather than being such a rollercoaster ride. I'll make the most of it".

"(There is) a lot going on with media, sponsors, practice. The Swiss 2014 champion has not been able to play a warm-up event, having resumed training in November following knee surgery.

Stephens made a stellar run to the U.S. Open title after missing several months with an injured left foot.

"He's a very talented player".

Fitness and mentality are often touch-and-go with Kyrgios but he's probably learnt from blowing a two-set lead against Andreas Seppi in the Australian Open second round past year and will do everything to avoid a repeat.

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