Roger Federer faces Aljaz Bedene first up in Australian Open

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Though his withdrawal from Doha was disappointing, Thiem will certainly be ready for the Australian Open. "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.

"Luckily for me, I'm here", Djokovic said after he beat Thiem on Wednesday.

Nadal withdrew from his first tour event of 2018, in Brisbane, with continuing knee problems, and has been getting in match practice in a Melbourne exhibition event this week ahead of Monday's start to the Open.

The women's side of the draw is wide open, with Serena Williams announcing last week she will not be there to defend her crown despite demonstrating her fitness in an exhibition win over Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in December.

"Obviously I've had great results here in the past but I'll take it more modestly and see how it goes".

"Mentally, it's not there but, hopefully, I can get there all together by the first round".

Annacone believes that Federer proved the doubters wrong, after failing to win a major title for four years from 2013 before taking two in 2017: the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where he became the oldest victor in the modern era at 35. I haven't played in six months.

19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is placed as second seed while Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Germany's Alexander Zverev have been named third and fourth seed, respectively, the Daily Express reported.

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Federer's four victories past year over his old foe also means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.

"It was an incredible final, an awesome moment for me in my life and it's great to be back here", he said, per Sky Sports.

"I think he's incredibly talented - we had a great match in Miami a year ago and also at the Laver Cup.

That's what I needed - I wanted to play the opening week of the season and my elbow didn't permit me to", added Djokovic, who will now compete at next week's Australian Open.

Roger Federer found himself in a slightly awkward position before the Australian Open draw. Rublev lost in straight sets to ATP world #1 and eventual champion Rafael Nadal in quarters.

"I'm just excited going back to Melbourne where I had my fairytale run previous year".

"But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams".

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