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Nadal beaten in Melbourne but injured knee 'fine'

13 January 2018

The Australian Open will begin on January 15.

Besides Djokovic and Federer, former champion Stan Wawrinka and Thiem were also placed in the heavy bottom half.

5 in just over an hour of action 6-1 6-4.

The former world No. 1 appeared calm and poised playing Thiem, something his fans have been anticipating for quite some time.

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

"It would be ideal if I got another tournament under my belt before the Australian Open but my elbow wasn't ready".

The 25-year-old, who was overlooked for a home grand slam wildcard by Tennis Australia, must now back up to win two matches in less than 48 hours if he's to feature in the main draw for the 10th-straight year. He is seeking consecutive major wins for the first time since winning the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2010. It was Federer's second distinction of this kind, seventeen years after he had won it partnering another Swiss great - Martina Hingis.

"It was a great test for me to see where I am, to see how I feel, to hear the score being called and feel the pressure of break points".

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Although Djokovic said he was delighted with his performance, especially his serve, he acknowledged that he was still not in ideal shape.

"For me, the first thing is to play a match, to play a tennis match again". Given that few in the sport would have predicted this resurgence by the legendary veterans, I perhaps risk embarrassment by attempting to preview and predict this year's tournament. Despite being very tempted to predict that Alexander Zverev will make his major grand slam breakthrough in style by going all the way, I think he may just fall short. Last year, he lost a heart-stopping five-set semifinal to Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic faced off against Lleyton Hewitt-coming out of retirement in singles to participate in the exhibition-displaying some sharp movement and fitness around the court.

The 36-year-old gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September, and returned to the court in an exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi at the end of December.

Djokovic has not played since his quarter-final exit at Wimbledon as a result of a persistent elbow injury.

In 2017, five different players occupied the WTA top spot and it was only on the penultimate day of the season that Simona Halep clinched the year-end World No 1 ranking.

The Spaniard, after a couple of barren years in 2015 and 2016, contested three of the four grand slam finals in 2017.

Nadal beaten in Melbourne but injured knee 'fine'