World News

Kyrgios wants Australian Open gains

Kyrgios wants Australian Open gains

The Serb is set to return to the court after six months away after being forced to retire during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych.

That's not bothering Roger Federer, who is returning as defending champion just 12 months after entering the season-opening Grand Slam tournament seeded 17th and uncertain of his prospects after six months off the tour because of an injured left knee.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal, top Australian Nick Kyrgios and local favourites Stosur and Daria Gavrilova are all in action on the first day of the 2018 event.

That is giving Djokovic some hope. I still have this afternoon and tomorrow, the last practice before the competition starts for me.

"In terms of professional things, I spoke to him few days ago, speaking about how the life going, how the tennis going", he said of Toni. If he gets through this minefield, then a 20th Grand Slam title might just suffice. His 2017 comeback could be inspiration for the likes of Djokovic, who has won the Australian title a record six times but has been sidelined since Wimbledon because of a right elbow injury.

Federer will saddle up for a 19th time in the main draw at Melbourne Park, looking to frustrate "Generation Next" once again and defend the title he won a year ago during a stunning comeback from knee surgery.

Off the court, the 30-year-old Serbian said he enjoyed a closer-to-normal family life off the court, including being there when his wife, Jelena, gave birth to their second child - a daughter Tara in September.

"I'm happy with the new service motion", he said.

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"I know that if I get myself to the desired level of performance - mental and physical - that I can actually have a good chance to go far in the tournament". "So I'm really looking forward to trying out my new serve!"

The No. 1-ranking changed seven times in 2017, with five different women assuming the top spot - three for the first time.

A US Open semifinals clash with Nadal would have given Federer the opportunity to take the no.1 spot.

The Open has already seen a number of high-profile stars pull out due to injury as Andy Murray and Serena Williams are unable to compete.

In recent months, meanwhile, ATP Finals victor Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev have moved up to No. 3 and No. 4 in the rankings, respectively, and are growing in confidence that they're on the cusp of Grand Slam breakthroughs.

"It's the first time I am here without playing an official match in my career".

"I still know what I'm capable of and I believe in my own abilities to win against the best players in the world", he said. "I want to take care of business one round at a time".

Venus Williams says Serena is "here in spirit" supporting her in Australia, where she's hopeful of ending an nearly decade-long Grand Slam title drought.


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