The future 5 at the Australian Open

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

Twelve months on from his unforgettable surge to a fifth Open crown aged 35 and in his first official tournament back after six months out of the game, Federer admits he can still barely believe what he pulled off.

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

The women's draw was going to be headlined by the return to tennis for Serena Williams, who won last year's tournament while pregnant.

Former champions Novak Djokovic (the No. 14 seed) and Stan Wawrinka (the No. 9 seed) both landed in the bottom half of the draw.


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.

Giorgi, belying her ranking of 100th in the world, beat US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round and then ousted twice Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova.

Four years since Nadal entered the year's first Grand Slam as the top seed, the Spaniard again finds himself with the No.1 next to his name on the draw.

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. It was the first year since 2009 that Djokovic didn't reach at least one Grand Slam final.

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.


British number one Johanna Konta, seeded ninth for the first grand slam of the year, will take on Madison Brengle of the United States of America while last year's runner up Venus Williams has been drawn against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

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.

Both Djokovic and Wawrinka have not played a competitive match since Wimbledon of previous year and have spent the last six months in recovery. Thiem, who admittedly played far from his best, barely got a read of it. "I had a great four to six weeks of tennis training, and many months before that to get myself ready for the training".

She said: "I have pain in my right adductor".


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