Roger Federer faces Aljaz Bedene first up in Australian Open

Roger Federer faces Aljaz Bedene first up in Australian Open”

When the six-time Australian Open champion withdrew from the season-opening Qatar Open, he said he "did not know what was going to happen".

As for Edmund, his trip to the southern hemisphere is proving to be a true test of patience and belief. And of course there are all the health concerns, like with Nadal's knees and Djokovic's elbow.

Nadal overcame dogged resistance from the Austrian to win 10-8 in the much-needed hitout.

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Andy Murray, a five-time finalist in Melbourne, is a notable absentee from the draw after undergoing hip surgery to correct an issue that has sidelined him since the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

The three-time Wimbledon winner told Eurosport: 'The big question is, who will overtake Rafa [Nadal] and Roger?

In a separate rule change designed to get matches started more quickly, warm-up times will be strictly enforced. Among women, I don't see a clear favourite.' Asked if he was surprised that Federer and Rafael Nadal are still fighting for the world no. He certainly has the talent to win the title.

But with Murray out until the summer, perhaps this will be the year of the newcomer.

The 24-year-old, who reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year, said after the round robin match that he felt he had recovered from the virus but on Thursday pulled out of his tie against France's Lucas Pouille.

They were richly rewarded, with fine hitting from two of the biggest names in the sport.

Now ranked No47, she could face the 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova in the second round, Angelique Kerber - the 2016 champion - in the third round and, potentially, Garbine Muguruza, the Wimbledon champion, in the fourth round.

Women's top seed Simona Halep of Romania faces Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the first round, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki starting out against Halep's compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Williams remains, at 23 Grand Slam singles titles, one short of Court's record. But the fact she has struggled with fitness issues in the run up to Melbourne suggests she could crash out early.

Court, a Pentecostal pastor, has strong views on homosexuality. "But when he's on, he's on, and he's really difficult to beat". "That Margaret has definitely homophobic views does not take away those accomplishments, no doubt about that".

The top 32 players for both the men's and the women's competition will be seeded. "No, there's no chance".

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