Australian Open 2018: Could we see new champions in both draws?

Australian Open 2018 draw

"I'm pretty good, a bit exhausted, I worked hard while I've been in Australia which is why I arrived pretty early here, so I can't wait to start this tournament", Pouille said.

Eight players retired from the first round at the All-England Club, including the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic during the second sets of their matches on Centre Court.

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.

Bookmakers are also expecting the world number two to successfully defend his title. "For me it was not ideal to not be in Brisbane, I would have loved to be there but I had to make a different schedule this year", Nadal said during the week.

Sharapova begins her Australian Open against Germany's Tatjana Maria then in the second round could get a rematch with Sevastova, who ousted the Russian in the US Open previous year.

Williams' quarter also includes fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina and 13th-seeded Sloane Stephens, who won last year's U.S. Open but has lost all seven matches she's played since.

"I haven't played in six months".

The American, who won the title a year ago in Melbourne despite being in the early weeks of pregnancy to take her grand slam tally to 23, decided against trying to defend her title, saying she was not yet fully up to speed.

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"I'm still not 100 per cent".

This year's Australian Open field is wide open following the decision by 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams not to defend her title in Melbourne, saying she was not quite ready to compete after giving birth in September.

"On the other side of the coin, it's probably more intriguing because you have 20 players that can win a grand slam". Australians are always getting great support here. Venus was dealt one of the toughest possible opening draws, facing 77th-ranked Belinda Bencic, a teen prodigy whose ranking fell after undergoing left wrist surgery previous year.

Djokovic looked in good form and full of optimism as he played the first competitive match since his withdrawal from the Wimbledon quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych due to injury.

Women's top seed Simona Halep of Romania faces Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the first round, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki starting out against Halep's compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open victor and last year's beaten Wimbledon finalist, will be expected to face Nadal in the last eight, with Pablo Carreno Busta (10) and Pablo Cuevas (31) also lurking, as well as Gilles Muller (23) - Nadal's conqueror at Wimbledon last year.

In the bottom half, Wozniacki will not be unduly anxious by the first week, although Ostapenko could lurk in the quarters.

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