Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Federer the favourite for Australian Open

Roger Federer Nadal Djokovic Murray and Federer are set to dominate 2018 Getty
Rita Gibson | 14 January, 2018, 12:34

In the 2017 Australian Open, Djokovic lost in the second round to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Djokovic will play in the Tie-break Tens in Melbourne on Wednesday night, alongside world No.1 Rafael Nadal, who has also had injury concerns.

With many big ATP stars struggling with injuries, Thiem was able to stay fit throughout most the season and put in a solid season, though there were some moments where he looked like he was struggling. After being forced out of action for seven weeks following a surgery on his wrist, Raonic lasted just one game before picking up another injury when he was forced to retire in the second round of the Japan Open due to a calf strain.

But more so than the competition, it is the 36-year-old Federer's dominant play at this month's Hopman Cup, where he won all four of his singles matches and led Switzerland to the title, that gives him the edge.

"For the first time I have to play here at the Australian [Open] for the first tournament of the year". Federer, ranked No. 2 after a stellar 2017, is aiming to win his 20th major title.

Nadal withdrew from his first tour event of 2018, in Brisbane, with continuing knee problems, and has been getting in match practice in a Melbourne exhibition event this week ahead of Monday's start to the Open. Joining Nadal on that line of fitness questioning are Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori among others.

"I'm just excited going back to Melbourne where I had my fairytale run a year ago".

Reluctant Trump agrees to Iran nuclear deal a final time
The administration accuses Larijani of being responsible for the violent crackdown on dissidents in Iran during recent protests . Trump has argued that Obama, a Democrat, negotiated a bad deal for the United States in agreeing to the nuclear accord.

Wawrinka, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian title, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first-round Wimbledon loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev in July. The defending champion returned to tennis after giving birth to daughter Olympia, at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where she was beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

"I was happy to be out there and I was focused on myself and trying to work on things myself", the 23-year-old said.

"Mentally, it's not there but, hopefully, I can get there all together by the first round".

Halep is probably the best placed to claim the first grand slam of the season, the Romanian cementing her number one status with a Shenzhen Open triumph.

Aiava said she'd been in good form physically but, mentally, wasn't where she needed to be.

The 16-time Grand Slam victor was far from his best in the exhibition encounter against a player he has beaten 15-0 on the ATP Tour in a rivalry dating back to junior days.

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