Seeded down in 14th after not playing competitively since Wimbledon, six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is up against Donald Young.
"I can't stop smiling on the outside and on the inside, it's such a great joy and I've missed it", Djokovic said. "I don't like usually going to draws because they freak me out".
"It's great to be the defending champion".
She said: "I have pain in my right adductor". The fifth set was maybe the best set I ever played. "Kerber can come back, I think she had a good winter training camp and did well at the Hopman Cup. And I feel like I am ready". Dimitrov, who won last year's ATP Finals and reached the semifinals in Melbourne before bowing out to Nadal, is in the same quarter as Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic pulled out of events in Abu Dhabi and Doha with elbow soreness before heading to Melbourne, and hasn't hit a ball in anger since the problem forced him to quit Wimbledon in the quarterfinals in July. Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist past year, and Alexander Zverev, yet to reach a Slam quarter-final, will be looking to enhance their records in the Majors having moved into the world's top four rankings. He's been out injured since Wimbledon but the fact that's he's won here six times, including his first Slam back in 2008, means he can not be ignored. Federer could face seventh-seeded David Goffin or 12th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals.
The draw for the year's first Grand Slam event took place on Thursday night in Melbourne. "Actually we didn't have a chance to support each other today because we were playing nearly at the same time but it's always good to have a close friend from your country with you, to be with you, traveling with you, sharing everything", said the 27-year-old Safwat. With Roger Federer the front runner in this year's tournament Down Under, the Swiss will be looking to equal this record since he is one AO slam short, something that Nole would like to prevent. So ravaged are both draws, it is a taking a leap of faith to declare across time zones that there will be no more wounded joining the leading women and men who have either fallen or are sinking to their knees before the first grand slam of the season.