Novak Djokovic looks forward to try out new serves at Australian Open

Simona Halep hit the practice court at Melbourne Park after her success in China

Novak Djokovic looks forward to try out new serves at Australian Open

"For me, I think the fact that I'm here and I'm going to play the first one, it's a big victory", he said.

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There are three main questions that engulf the men's draw at this year's Australian Open.

The Australian Open's defending champion deserves the tag of favourite as he was only beaten five times in the whole of 2017.

With Serena Williams still absent, the women's draw is impossible to call. Nadal is returning from a lingering right knee problem and five-time finalist Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have already withdrawn. "Important for me is beginning of the tournament this year".

Having yet to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 10 attempts - and only once venturing beyond the third round past year - Zverev admits he can do without striking a heavyweight early.

"I have had a great week and the final was not easy against Ash but I was able to play my game in important moments".

"If I'm not feeling good, probably I will not be here", Nadal said after his error-filled loss to Richard Gasquet in an exhibition this week.

"I feel like I spend less energy but I'm more efficient". Ironically previous year, Serena faced Bencic in her opening Australian Open match. Thiem, who pulled out of the warm-up Qatar Open ahead of his semi-final with flu, finished 2017 by making his second appearance at the ATP Finals in London.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza hasn't had the flawless preparation, but is determined all the same.

Women's top seeds: 1. She could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarters.

"There's a lot of great players", she said.

Federer's haul of 19 majors puts him three ahead of Nadal (16), with Pete Sampras (14) and Djokovic (12) after that.

The 19-time Grand Slam victor, who is coming off an extraordinary 2017 in which he won two Grand Slams, will be up against a depleted field when the first Grand Slam of the year begins at Melbourne Park on Monday, with Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori out injured. "I played better than I thought might happen, and most importantly I played without pain".

Djokovic, a surprise second-round loser here previous year, is hoping he can get fit enough to change that in 2018. 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.

"If he wins the title tonight he goes to 80th in the world which is right up there with some of the best players in the world". Should he get by those two matches, the former world number one should get to the second week with a blockbuster with Alexander Zverev looming large.

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