Djoko, Wawrinka and Muguruza all battling to make the Aussie Open

No Uncle for old Rafa

No Uncle for old Rafa

Novak Djokovic admits there's still a chance he could withdraw from the Australian Open, moving to ease expectation over his performance at the Grand Slam he's dominated for a decade.

"I think he's actually a really nice guy", Federer told Channel Nine when asked about the mercurial 22-year-old. Williams is obviously the biggest name there, and is not yet ready for Grand Slam competition following the birth of her child.

The World No 3 advanced to the quarter-finals of the Sydney International before suffering a thigh injury which forced her to retire from the event on Wednesday. "Lleyton (Hewitt) and Pat Rafter, who I was lucky to watch and also lucky to play against him". "However, during the match today the pain has been there all the time but I wanted to compete".

"It was a fantastic test for me to see where I am, to see what we have done as a team and whether it works on the court and it works pretty well", Djokovic said.

The Serb, who has built a reputation as one of the most formidable players in men's tennis, suffered a temporary blow to that status after being side-lined with an elbow problem for the past six months.

"(Federer) could always get picked off early", McEnroe said.

With five-times runner-up Andy Murray and Japan's Kei Nishikori already ruled out with injuries, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley welcomed Wawrinka's intention to play.

"I didn't know what was going to happen but we did some treatments and gave it a lot of thought and luckily for me I'm here". I'm happy with how I'm performing now.

Venus will open against Belinda Bencic, a tough go for her first matchup.

Wawrinka's 2017 season came to an end after a shock defeat to Russian Daniil Medvedev in the first round of Wimbledon and announced that he will be missing the rest of the season after undergoing two operations on a knee cartilage injury.

Federer was coming off an extended injury break and was seeded 17th at last year's Australian Open when he beat Nadal, who was seeded ninth, in five sets in the final. I've been developing my mental state. The Austrian played well at the US Open and almost made the last eight for the first time, though lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round, despite being two sets up and holding two match points.

The Austrian is turning 25 this year, and many are looking for Thiem to start to become more consistent throughout the season, and for him to also start to make several deep runs at the Grand Slam tournaments.

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