Potential semi final between Federer and Djokovic in the Australian Open

Roger Federer will be eyeing his sixth Australian Open title this year

Roger Federer will be eyeing his sixth Australian Open title this year

"This is not normal", Federer told a crowd of hundreds of fans before the draw on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena. "I don't want to know who I play other than just seeing the sheet at the end and knowing who my first-round opponent is".

"For the first time I have to play here at the Australian [Open] for the first tournament of the year". The seventh seed may have to deal with any of Fabio Fognini (25), Tomas Berdych (19) or Juan Martin del Potro (12) if he is to get to the last eight in Melbourne.

Roger Federer will begin the defence of his title against the former Brit Aljaz Bedene and is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic, although the Serb's participation is still in doubt as he comes back from an elbow injury.

Men's third seed Grigor Dimitrov will face a qualifier, with Alexander Zverev, ranked fourth, playing Italian Thomas Fabbiano but with 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, returning after surgery, in his section of the draw.

So maybe Nadal versus Federer in the final isn't so much of a long shot after all?

Now, under new rules by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), any Grand Slam player who withdraws after 1200 local time yesterday before the tournament draw will still receive 50 percent of first round prize money.

Players will also be able to claim 50 percent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive created to allow a replacement to play instead. "It was a great match in preparation for the Australian Open", Rublev said after the clash.

Former world No 1 Moya will lead Nadal's team, after spending last season with Rafa and Toni preparing for the latter's retirement, having helped Nadal roar back to life after a barren three-year spell without a Grand Slam trophy.

In the women's draw, top seed Simona Halep will face Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the opening round and could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.

Third-seeded Muguruza is in a hard quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, and U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.

The five-time major victor finished 2017 ranked No. 60, meaning she missed out on a seeding for the Australian Open and could face 2016 champion Kerber in the third round. "I had a great four to six weeks of tennis training, and many months before that to get myself ready for the training".

"The drive, I still have it".

She said: "I have pain in my right adductor. I expect to continue to do so".

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