Rafael Nadal, who apparently recovered from a knee injury of last year, is the top seed for the Australian Open men’s singles competition which begins in Melbourne on Monday.
Roger Federer, who beat Nadal in a thrilling 2017 final, is second seed for the grand slam competition which has lost Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori from the men’s singles through injury while Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will be absent from the women’s singles.
Former world number one Novak Djokovic is in Melbourne but he admits his elbow is not yet 100 percent as the Serb prepares to return from six months out at the Australian Open.
The six-times champion, who last played competitively at Wimbledon in July, withdrew from the Mubadala exhibition tournament in December citing his elbow injury. He says he is still managing the injury, which has caused him to abbreviate his service action.
Ironically Djokovic was replaced by Andy Murray at Mubadala. Murray played, realised his hip injury was still seriously affecting his play and has now had surgery in an attempt to fix the problem.
Australian Open 2018: Complete Predictions for Men’s and Women’s Draw https://t.co/SA9QgYboDa— Tennis Newz (@Tennis_Newz) January 13, 2018
One of the traditional events in the run-up to the start of the Open is Kids’ Day which saw players taking part in a show for children in the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki are the two top women’s seeds for the tournament which finishes on January 28.