Enero 23, 2020

Roger Federer plays down favourite tag — Australian Open

14 Enero 2018, 09:45 | Fidele Alvizo

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They are all here, the frail and the wounded. Kyrgios is the 17th seed for the men.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is making a comeback of his own is in Federer's half, with Juan Martin del Potro - who beat the Swiss at the US Open - in his quarter.

But the super Swiss showed his softer side when Sunsport was hurt while leaving his press conference.

It forced him to skip the lead-up Brisbane International this month, and he has only had a one-match workout at the exhibition Kooyong Classic in Melbourne ahead of the Grand Slam starting tomorrow.

But it could be former No.1, Angelique Kerber rising again as she has been the most outstanding player in the New Year.

"I think it is something that would always be special and really awesome", she said.

To have your name announced and then walk out in front of 10,000 or 15,000 fans, to have those same supporters cheer for you and clap when you do well ... it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

It saw Nadal play world number five Dominic Thiem this week on a practice court under full match conditions, with ball kids, scoreboard, and umpire. "Honestly, it's a good place to be".

It's not a major change, more of a tweak.

"It should not be the case".

'I play down my chances just because I don't think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament, ' said Federer. Kei Nishikori also withdrew. "Everything at the moment is going in the right direction".

He won all his four singles matches as he and Belinda Bencic helped Switzerland lift the Hopman Cup in Perth.

"I practised with Rafa, I practised with Novak, with Berdych, with Monfils, with Dimitrov".

Federer hinted Rafael Nadal or Djokovic should head the Open markets despite injury worries for both rivals.

If there's anything Grigor Dimitrov learned in 2017, it's how to rebound from big losses.

Organisers had on Thursday strived to defend the decision to invite Sharapova to appear as the representative for the women's draw.

That is giving Djokovic some hope. "So, I try to find my way, what can help me to be there, to be ready for the fight". During all these years, I was very happy to keep playing tennis. "I'm still feeling the same".

Entering as the No. 1 seed for the first time at a major and at a tournament where she's had back-to-back first-round exits, two-time French Open finalist Halep opens against teenage wild-card entry Destanee Aiava.

Crowds are always cheering for you, and that can get you over the line in a close match, but the biggest plus is the familiarity.

But Nadal is disadvantaged by a far from ideal build-up to the new season. "I was lucky", she said.

"But then everyone starts from zero". Whose responsibility is it at the end of the day?

At the start of 2018, Federer and Nadal appear best placed to reap more rewards.

With Serena Williams still absent, the women's draw is impossible to call. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille are also in the running as is Marin Cilic, who has been drawn in Nadal's quarter.

With Serena Williams out after giving birth to her first child and injury doubts surrounding Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, the tournament could be there for the taking by top-ranked Halep.

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