Sports

Federer playing down Australian Open favouritism

Federer playing down Australian Open favouritism

"Whenever I get asked that question, it always comes across in an nearly negative way instead of acknowledging how many great players we have", said the British number one.

"I feel like maybe somebody like a Rafa, with the year that he had, or Novak Djokovic with the six titles could very well be the favourites too", Federer said. The Australian Open, it's time again. "But I feel good". "Kerber can come back, I think she had a good winter training camp and did well at the Hopman Cup".

"I've been playing tennis since before my memories started".

Take one determined old guard, throw in a mix of exciting youngsters and add in a couple of returning heroes, and you have a recipe for a thrilling contest. Zverev, the baby of the top 10 at just 20 years of age, has quietly slipped into the world No.4 spot.

The winners of the potential Dimitrov-Kyrgios and Djokovic-Zverev fourth round matches would feel confident of making the final.

Grigor Dimitrov, a semifinalist here a year ago, is seeded third and six-time champion Novak Djokovic - coming back from a six-month injury layoff - is 14th.

Djokovic said his elbow injury got to the point where the pain on his serve was becoming unbearable, with a sustained period of rest the only cure.

"Then again, I guess it's a little bit normal, too, not to be always 100% fit and healthy". If I lose a match, at the end of the day it's a tennis match.

Entered into his first tournament draw since last year's Wimbledon, Djokovic starts in unfamiliar territory as the No.14 seed. Even without sufficient warm-up matches, last year's finalist will be a force to reckon with.

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There has never been a doubt that Kyrgios is capable of winning a grand slam but both mental and physical resilience has been a major issue. Her career at Grand Slams looks like a almost storyline - making the finals of the French Open in 2014 and 2017; semifinals at Wimbledon in 2014 and the US Open in 2015. 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.

"I'm healthy. I have the opportunity to play here".

"Mentally (I'm) not there but, hopefully, I can get there all together by the first round", she said after the defeat.

"I put a lot of expectations on myself because I have been there, and I have delivered in those moments".

Roger Federer does not believe he should be the favourite to win the Australian Open. She was a finalist at the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena; Wimbledon where she lost to Garbine Muguruza and made the semifinal of the US Open, where she lost to eventual victor, Sloane Stephens.

There are three main questions that engulf the men's draw at this year's Australian Open.

The 26-year-old Romanian is full of confidence after lifting the title at Shenzhen in dominant fashion but will need to overcome her sorry record at Melbourne Park where she has lost in the first round in both of the past two years when seeded in the top four.

And while Barty, Australia's leading woman, might like her first-round opponent, who is ranked 69th, it soon gets tougher.

"I've played thousands of matches in my life, and I'm sure I've gotten lucky throughout my career, but sometimes you have to take a minute and talk to the team about it, like how we're going to approach these next three months, next year, next day", he said."Everything needs to be perfectly planned, I think, to avoid as many injuries as possible."His first round match of the 2018 Australian Open will take place Tuesday, against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia".


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