Australian Open draw announcement live updates, blog

Novak Djokovic Stan Wawrinka train on the Rod Laver Arena

Novak Djokovic Stan Wawrinka train on the Rod Laver Arena 7 Jan 2018  View 3368 by Gatto Luigi

Top seed Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Victor Estrella Burgos in the opening round of the Australian Open, while reigning champion Roger Federer meets Aljaz Bedene.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal has tuned up for the Australian Open with an exhibition match win at Melbourne Park.

Grigor Dimitrov is the No. 3 seed, and six-time champion Novak Djokovic is 14th as he comes back from a six-month injury layoff.

Sharapova begins her Australian Open against Germany's Tatjana Maria then in the second round could get a rematch with Sevastova, who ousted the Russian in the US Open past year.

"I'm free of fever and healthy again", Thiem said post-match.

Federer also has Milos Raonic, Juan Martin del Potro, David Goffin and Tomas Berdych in his quarter of the draw, while Nadal would appear to have the easier section, although former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic looms as a last-eight opponent.

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of the 2018 season, starts Monday with everyone wondering if Roger Federer can repeat his remarkable victory 12 months ago.

Australian hopes will rest largely on the shoulders of 17th seed Nick Kyrgios, who won the Brisbane International on Sunday but has struggled with his temperament and openly admitted to lacking dedication in recent years.

Players could forfeit their prize money if they retire from first-round singles matches at the Australian Open, under new rules aimed at limiting the early injury withdrawals which have long caused controversy at Grand Slams. While the 2018 tournament could feature a host of the top female players such as Venus Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka, it is hard to make a case for any of them to win it as they all have their own issues that would make glory unlikely.

Federer's bid for a 20th grand slam title will be aided by the absences of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, as well as lingering injuries to top players who are still expected to play like Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.

Their replacement - a "lucky loser" from the qualifying tournament - will get the other 50 percent of the first-round prize money.

"The most important thing is to feel the conditions, to get comfortable", he said.

Simply by turning up, they were eligible for prize money and avoided a fine. They know I'm a professional tennis player.

"For the first time I have to play here at the Australian [Open] for the first tournament of the year".

In a separate rule change created to get matches started more quickly, warm-up times will be strictly enforced.

However, plans for a shot clock to enforce a 25-second time limit between points have been shelved, and will only be used in the qualifying tournament at Melbourne Park. There's actually a modified solution that has gained renewed calls for attention: reserving best-of-five matches for the late stages of the Grand Slams.

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