Bookies bet on Federer to retain his Australian Open title

Bookies bet on Federer to retain his Australian Open title

Thiem, who made the fourth round at the Open last year, was confident he would be 100 per cent by his first match. He also played in the exhibition Tie-break Tens event along with Rafael Nadal, Thiem and Nick Kyrgios.

Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2018 Australian Open draw announcement from 7pm (AEDT) and don't forget to add your own comments below. The 2014 champion pulled out of Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December after failing to recover from his injury.

Raonic suffered two injuries in 2017 which largely curtailed his season.

But for now, no younger woman has demonstrated the ability to dominate in the absence of Williams and no younger man has demonstrated the ability to handle Grand Slam occasions anywhere near as well as Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. "I put a lot of expectations on myself because I have been there, and I have delivered in those moments".

Then there is the more cyclical matter of whether a new ruling class is at last prepared to take power on the court. It didn't seem to trouble Australia's big hope, who went on to win the tournament.

Sharapova, who won the 2008 Australian title and reached three other finals at Melbourne Park, missed last year's tournament during a 15-month suspension after a failed doping test here in 2016. Sock suffered a shock exit at the Auckland Classic when he was beaten by Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets in the second round. Chris Kermode, executive chairman of the men's tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), promised a shake-up, although he accepted the players' reasons for withdrawing. The 24-year-old was forced to retire from Kooyong on Thursday after falling ill again due to a virus.

"Defending a title the very first time is the hard part... if you don't win, it's all dramatic but later on in life you take it as it comes, try your best and if it works out, great but if it doesn't, it just doesn't". The question is, how fit and healthy is Djokovic?

Milos Raonic
GETTYMilos Raonic is an outside bet for the Australian Open

Camera IconNick Kyrgios was on fire at the Brisbane International.

Venus will open against Belinda Bencic, a tough go for her first matchup.

She said: "I have pain in my right adductor".

"Possibly, but this time we're a long way away in the draw", he added.

The Austrian spent four days in bed with a virus after pulling out of a tournament in Doha last week and, also suffering from jet lag, was thrashed 6-1 6-4 by Novak Djokovic in the Serbian's return to action at Kooyong on Wednesday.

In the women's draw, top seed Simona Halep faces 17-year-old Australian qualifier Destanee Aiava in the opening round and is likely to face 16th seed Elena Vesnina in the fourth round.