Djokovic dominates on his return from injury

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Top-ranked Simona Halep opens against Australian wild card Destanee Aiava, has a potential second-round match against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, and is in the same half as Garbine Muruguza, the Wimbledon champion.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were beaten during the exhibition Tie Break Tens tournament in Melbourne but both would have been pleased to have apparently played without discomfort.

"It's their view and I've never needed the help of Tennis Australia to achieve what I've achieved in my career". The Australian Open is the big one, it's the one I wanted to be ready for.

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.With tens of thousands of dollars at stake just for playing in round one, early injury pull-outs have often caused suspicion at Grand Slams, particularly at last year's Wimbledon.

"It feels great, obviously I was waiting for this moment for six months to play a match", the former World No.1 said after the win.

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Nadal enjoyed a resurgence of his own to succeed at the French Open and US Open, although he has struggled with a knee injury ahead of the tournament. "Roger is the quintessential superstar ballet player that happens to play tennis - it all looks easy, but there's so much work that goes behind it to make those motor skills able to execute under pressure for long periods of time".

The 2018 Australian Open is just around the corner and that means it's time for the all-important draw to be announced.

Other form players include France's Gael Monfils, who won the lead-up Qatar Open in a depleted field, and his countryman Gilles Simon who rolled back the years to claim the ATP Maharashtra Open title. I take it the right way. The previous year I was playing only Futures, now I'm playing this year a Grand Slam and I'm really focusing on Challengers, so it's a very big progress for me and I'm happy about it. Rafa Nadal, who Federer beat in the 2017 final, has also had issues with his knees leading into the event. It was the first year since 2009 that Djokovic didn't reach at least one Grand Slam final.

The best hope for an Australian victory in the women's draw comes with Ashleigh Barty ($26), who had a breakout year in 2017 in which she rose from No. 271 to No. 17 in the world.

The Swiss legend, who starts as favourite to win his 20th Grand Slam title, has been handed a tough draw as he could face either 22nd seed Milos Raonic or 13th seed Sam Querrey as early as in the fourth round.