Djokovic seeded 14th for Australian Open

Novak Djokovic Stan Wawrinka train on the Rod Laver Arena

Novak Djokovic Stan Wawrinka train on the Rod Laver Arena

"That tends to favour the older more experienced player rather than a player in their teens or early twenties", the study says.

Hon was the only one of eight Australians this week to reach the second round of qualifying.

"I'm really, really happy to be back on the Tour and seeing the sun", Wawrinka told reporters after an event with the tournament's ball kids at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

A similar controversy blew up at the Auckland Classic this week when four players pulled out before their opening matches, citing injury or illness.

"I've looked at each of the Australian Open draws from 1990, breaking down the players appearing in the first round into four age categories - teenagers, 20-23, 24-29 and 30-plus - and in both the men's and women's game, the proportion of players aged 30 and over is on the rise", said Stephanie Kovalchik, who works for the Games Insight Group of Australian Tennis.

Of course, those matches were when he was free from injury and able to play to his true potential but even just a half-strength Djokovic is likely to cause great anxiety for the pair. Add slower courts and the corresponding shift to longer, more physical rallies and the strain on the male players' bodies starts to become evident in the rash of high-profile injuries currently plaguing the tour.

The trio, along with Canadian prodigy Denis Shapovalov, flamboyant Korean Hyeon Chung, Russian dynamos Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, Croatia's next-gen star Borna Coric and seemingly Australian teenage summer sensation Alex de Minaur head the list of potential grand slam champions in the future. He won 70 of his 76 matches and even went 41 matches without a defeat. Anything can happen. It's a Grand Slam.

"So (it was) a huge surprise, especially after the six months I had off, and what a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year". He has also had to overcome top-5 and top-10 players 22.63% and 32.14% of the time, respectively. On flair alone, Kyrgios deserves a place in the Top 5. "I'll be fine for the Open". Given the multiple occasions on which the Argentine's body has failed him, he deserves another US Open title to go with his 2009 triumph in Flushing Meadows.

Neither player was able to dominate on service in the first set and Konta won just two of her 11 second-serve points as Radwanska converted three of her five break opportunities. He triggered improvements in others too.

Nadal begins his campaign against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic while Roger Federer takes on Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. In the top half of the draw, Rafael Nadal's first serious threat ought to come in the shape of John Isner in the fourth round.

And when Djokovic made grass - a surface which Andre Agassi called "ice slathered with Vaseline" - feel like clay, leaving not a single blade uncovered, Federer was left with no choice but to shore up his defence.

Between them, grand slam giants Roger Federer (19), Rafael Nadal (16), Novak Djokovic (12) and Andy Murray (3) have amassed an extraordinary 50 major championships since 2003. But so did Federer. The Serb opens against Donald Young but then could meet Gael Monfils in the second then Zverev in the fourth following by a Wawrinka in quarters. Additional watch-ability, for one. So is Djokovic's match-up against World No. 1 Nadal.

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