Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer earn top two seeds for Australian Open

Roger Federer will be eyeing his sixth Australian Open title this year

Roger Federer will be eyeing his sixth Australian Open title this year

The tennis community and sporting world yearns for another instalment in the Federer-Nadal rivalry but while form is temporary and class is permanent, a lack of preparation may rob the Australian public of another unforgettable event.

Djokovic is in the same quarter as the Zverev brothers - fourth-seeded Alexander could meet older brother and No. 32-seeded Mischa in the third round - 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, and No. 5 Dominic Thiem.

"There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year", he admitted.

Djokovic, 30, is seeded 14th for this year's grand slam tournament in Melbourne - a reflection of his slide down the rankings following six months out with an elbow injury.

Rafael Nadal suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet of France at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Australia.He went down to Gasquet 4-6, 5-7.This was Nadal's first match in a while.

World No.1 and top seed Rafael Nadal starts his Australian campaign against 83rd-ranked Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic in the top quarter of the draw.

China's Zhang Shuai was not as lucky, drawing 2017 US Open Champ Sloane Stephens as she attempts to recreate the success of 2016 when she made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Nadal returns to the Australian Open, where he lost a thrilling five-set final to perennial rival Roger Federer in 2017, after overcoming chronic knee problems just in time. It was the first year since 2009 that Djokovic didn't reach at least one Grand Slam final.

In the women's draw, top seed Simona Halep will face Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the opening round and could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.

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

Wozniacki is projected to face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the quarters.

Serena Williams will not defend the women's title having had her first child past year but 2008 champion Maria Sharapova, who failed a drugs test at the tournament in 2016, is back unseeded after a ban and will face Germany's Tatjana Maria.

"There's no easy way to get to the top", Sharapova told the crowd at Margaret Court Arena before the draw. "I'm just going to go out there, try to weather the storm, and try to play my game", De Minaur said.

"The boys are young and one of them was watching me at the Hopman Cup last week and he said: 'I can do what Papa can, I can play tennis too'". "I put a lot of expectations on myself because I have been there, and I have delivered in those moments".

Latest News