Australian Open tennis: Returning Novak Djokovic still managing elbow injury

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

Even before the first match, the Open courted at least two controversies - by allowing former champion Maria Sharapova (2009) to conduct the draw less than two years since she tested positive for a banned substance and former great Billy Jean King saying the Margaret Court Arena should be renamed because of the 11-time champion's "derogatory" views on sexuality. "Who would predict that after his six months of absence, so. everything is possible really".

"What a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year".

Federer, who is five years older, said: 'I think Rafa, in a way, is still in his prime. Kei Nishikori also withdrew.

"It is impossible to be more motivated than last year or any year", the world number one told Xinhua on Saturday.

Winning the ATP Tour final in London previous year should give him more belief in his abilities to battle the likes of Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic to win a first Grand Slam title. She said it didn't leave her enough time to feel confident of winning a major.

"There are three or four details that I have changed", Djokovic said.

Venus Williams says Serena is "here in spirit" supporting her in Australia, where she's hopeful of ending an nearly decade-long Grand Slam title drought.

What does being No 1 in the world mean to Rafael Nadal?

"I do feel young inside, you know". "No one ever wants to let themselves down".

Garbine Muguruza

She was a finalist at the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena; Wimbledon where she lost to Garbine Muguruza and made the semifinal of the US Open, where she lost to eventual victor, Sloane Stephens.

Entering as the No. 1 seed for the first time at a major and at a tournament where she's had back-to-back first-round exits, two-time French Open finalist Halep opens against teenage wild-card entry Destanee Aiava.

It was the latest stumble for the former world No 1 but his 2017 took a more serious downward turn in the summer when, after pulling out during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych, he announced he would be taking the rest of the season off to rehabilitate an ongoing elbow problem.

Muguruza is expecting the constant changes at the top of the women's game to continue in 2018. "This is going to be a very interesting year".

"I'm expected to win a lot of matches".

For the first time in his career, the 16-time grand slam champion will head into the year's opening major without playing a competitive match in the lead-up.

"I think previous year there were periods where I was really good and really bad", he said ahead of his Australian Open first-round clash with Rogerio Dutra Silva.

Djokovic has been sidelined with an elbow injury that had been progressively getting worse over the past few years.

The draws were made last Thursday with exciting matchups to look forward to, though the more profound news is that several world-class players will be absent due to various injuries. "Everything at the moment is going in the right direction".

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