AUSTRALIA OPEN: Federer drawn against Bedene, Nadal meets Burgos

AUSTRALIA OPEN: Federer drawn against Bedene, Nadal meets Burgos

AUSTRALIA OPEN: Federer drawn against Bedene, Nadal meets Burgos

But their mutual absences in Melbourne do not remove Court from the conversation in Melbourne.

It makes for a bounty of wise tennis heads in the Serb's corner, and he will need them for a projected fourth-round date with No.4 seed Alexander Zverev.

World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov faces a qualifier first up and could face American Jack Sock in the quarters.

Former winner Stan Wawrinka, is in the same section of the draw and faces Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis first up.

It was an unpleasant surprise and a reminder that - without Murray, who is convalescing in Melbourne after hip surgery - the British ranks are painfully lacking in depth.

Camera IconRafael Nadal and Roger Federer after last year's Australian Open final.

While the men's side is arguably easier to predict given the lack of serious contenders for grand slam titles, question marks hang over the usual suspects.

Raonic suffered two injuries in 2017 which largely curtailed his season.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded ninth in Melbourne, will take on unseeded Richard Berankis in the first round.

Russian Andrey Rublev is happy to get some extra preparation ahead of the Australian Open as he featured the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic on Thursday.

He's never been past the first round in Oz.

They might not be the favorites to win it all, but all of these players are very capable of pulling off a shocker Down Under. Troicki won the Sydney International in 2015, but lost to Kyrgios 1-6 2-6 in Canada last August in the only time the pair have played. 2017's beaten finalist is up against Belinda Bencic in the opening round.

Alas, the chance of one of those young hopes coming from Britain seems unlikely - the Poms took a bashing in yesterday's draw.

The operation was a success. This change was made after a spate of early withdrawals last year.

For women's singles event, Caroline Wozniacki is seeded second Garbine Muguruza followed by Elina Svitolina, Venus Williams, Karoliina Pliskova, Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Garcia, Johanna Konta, CoCo Vandeweghe. I'm happy with the way it went today. The world number four starts tournament against Thomas Fabbiano of Italy. "For me, that's more the issue". It can be argued that Nole's struggle opened the door for both Federer and Nadal to reignite their respective careers. Rublev reached the quarter-finals, beating David Goffin in the fourth round in straight sets.

Last year's final was like stepping into a time warp as tennis' two most decorated stars battled it out over five gripping sets in the final. She won her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant, gave birth to her daughter, and got married.

Serena Williams decided not to defend her Australian title, saying that just four months after having her first child that her tennis hadn't yet returned to a level where she felt could win a Grand Slam title.

It should be noted that the seedings have gone largely according to the ATP world rankings.

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