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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic LOSE, Stan Wawrinka scare, Serena revelation

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic LOSE, Stan Wawrinka scare, Serena revelation

Top-ranked Simona Halep opens against Australian wild card Destanee Aiava, has a potential second-round match against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, and is in the same half as Garbine Muruguza, the Wimbledon champion.

Nadal - who withdrew from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and the Brisbane International - lost to Richard Gasquet at the Kooyong Classic on Tuesday before going down to Tomas Berdych in the Tie Break Tens tournament a day later.

With many big ATP stars struggling with injuries, Thiem was able to stay fit throughout most the season and put in a solid season, though there were some moments where he looked like he was struggling. Past year he admitted he had no love for the game, saying it is just a job and he felt "trapped".

"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. "It was the highlight of past year, beating Wimbledon and all the other tournaments I played".

"For now, I am in the (Australian Open) tournament and let's hope with God's grace that everything will be fine in the next five days".

The Australian Open 2018 will be contested from January 15 to January 28 at the very prestigious Melbourne Park.

The second seed, who rose from world number 17 to two after a dream year in 2017, starts his title defence against world number 51 Aljaz Bedene of Slovakia.

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"I know he's got a bit of a mixed image for some people".

"I have felt pain in my right adductor since I started practising here".

One man who might have been expected to have a major say in proceedings is Novak Djokovic, who holds the Open era record with six wins at Melbourne.

The former World No 1 took a break from tennis after winning her 23rd Grand Slam at Melbourne previous year due to her pregnancy.

"Mentally, it's not there but, hopefully, I can get there all together by the first round". The defending champion returned to tennis after giving birth to daughter Olympia, at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where she was beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The draw was scheduled for later Thursday.

Hours after battling past Kiki Bertens 6-3 7-6 (6) to advance to the quarter-finals, the 24-year-old Spanish top seed announced she would no longer be competing in the tournament.

Roger laughs as he adds that "I never beat Rafter but that doesn't matter (because), you shouldn't beat your favourite players anyway" but singles out other Australian connections with deep sincerity.