Domingo, 16 Diciembre, 2018

Nadal, Federer seeded 1st and 2nd for Australian Open

Nadal, Federer seeded 1st and 2nd for Australian Open Nadal, Federer seeded 1st and 2nd for Australian Open
Montrelle Montesinos | 13 Enero, 2018, 10:29

Again, there isn't much of a gap that separates the contenders from the dark horses. This and a tough draw has merited him a 14th seeding only.

It must be Federer. There is even more room on the women's side with the 2016 champion Angelique Kerber back on target and with a new coach, Wim Fissette, after slumping in 2017. I can't see him not collecting a sixth title in Melbourne.

32 Rublev kicked off his season with a good tale as he ended runner-up to Frenchman Gael Monfils at last week's Qatar ExxonMobil Doha Open.

"So this phase now, the last eight years have just been the best". That is rarely how they are deployed.

"That's what makes Federer, Federer".

Federer is now favourite for the 2018 event in Melbourne, with former world No 1 Andy Murray pulling out with a hip injury and six-time champion Djokovic struggling with an elbow problem. 19-time major champion Roger Federer has been given the number two spot, Grigor Dimitrov at three, followed by Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem who completes the top five.

The Bulgarian world No.3 has long been hailed as the most likely to lead a changing of the guard and, after coming of age with victory at the 2017 ATP Tour Finals in London, Dimitrov is primed to end the decade-and-a-half-long dominance of tennis' so-called Big Four.

"I think he's incredibly talented - we had a great match in Miami last year and also at the Laver Cup". A lucky loser who gets into the draw would then receive the other half. The draw was scheduled for later Thursday. An early test against big serving John Isner, who is seeded 16th, is also on the cards for the numero uno. The Australian Open starts on 15 January. If he doesn't lose focus, he can go all the way. Do strings, balls, racket frames, court surfaces or the speed of the game need to be modified?

Former champions Novak Djokovic (the No. 14 seed) and Stan Wawrinka (the No. 9 seed) both landed in the bottom half of the draw.

If the ailing Swiss competes, he's going to be the rustiest player in the draw. Unfortunately, another knee injury hobbled the world's No. 1 in his preparation for the Australian Open.

Wawrinka's own attempts to prove his fitness have not proved so fruitful.

Del Potro could run into two-time Australian Open semifinalist Tomas Berdych in the third round, should the Czech take down fleet-footed Australian wildcard Alex De Minaur.

The Bulgarian came agonisingly close to beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals in Melbourne when he went down in a five-set humdinger, but finished the season ranked third after winning the biggest title of his career at the ATP Finals in London. "Hopefully if I can reach the last few rounds, I will feel more comfortable". Sponsors might like the double opportunity to showcase their wares, but tennis has enough television challenges without viewers having to struggle to figure out who is who in a match.