Rafael Nadal discusses question on his toughest opponent at the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal discusses question on his toughest opponent at the Australian Open

The Serb hasn't played a competitive match for more than six months and it would be a tall order, to say the least, for him to turn up and win the tournament - although that was said about Federer past year. "It's up for grabs". He has never been beyond the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, reaching the last four at Wimbledon in 2014 and repeating the feat in Australia a year ago.

Pundits have tipped 17th seed Kyrgios, who opens against unheralded Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva, to go deep in this tournament but the Australian trotted out the well-worn cliche of "one game at a time".

He said: "My knee feel goods". She's struggled to adjust to the sudden stardom that's come with being a Grand Slam champion - she's lost seven straight matches since September - but believes she can find her game again in Melbourne.

"I want to kind of ride the highs, not as high as I usually do. I've done really everything in my power, with a team of people around me, to enable me to be right here in front of you guys, and to compete in Australian Open".

"If I'm not feeling good, probably I will not be here", Nadal said after his error-filled loss to Richard Gasquet in an exhibition this week.

"It seems like he's doing the right things otherwise he wouldn't be winning tournaments, especially not in Brisbane because being able to cope with the pressure at home is not a simple thing".

There are plenty of other contenders, too.

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Djokovic, the six-time champion and victor of 12 grand slam titles, has slumped to No.14 in the rankings and is pleased just to be here. Even one of the key ceremonial figures is expected to skip the festivities: Margaret Court, long retired but still in the headlines, says she will go crab fishing instead this year as the debate continues about whether the Australian Open's third-biggest show court should continue to bear her name.

With Andre Agassi having boarded a flight to return to the Serb's coaching fray in time for his first-round clash with American Donald Young, there was a further addition to his coaching ranks late last season, the recently-retired Radek Stepanek.

Roger Federer is no stranger to performing superhuman feats on the tennis court so it wasn't a surprise when he and Milos Raonic were joined by a couple of superheroes during "Kids Day" ahead of the Australian Open.

"I had a great week in Brisbane. A lot of changing, I feel".

Despite the tough draw and the toll that 2017 would've had on his body, Federer is the favourite to win his 20th major in a fortnight's time. So, I try to find my way, what can help me to be there, to be ready for the fight.

"Just generally getting better, just generally getting fitter, is something which young players have to do and which I'm trying to do as well".

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