Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Federer The Favorite At The Australian Open

Federer The Favorite At The Australian Open

Federer is bidding to win successive Australian Opens for the first time since 2006-07.

In five attempts, Kyrgios has never lost an opening encounter.

Despite an intriguing matchup against Borna Coric in the third round, Nadal has a pretty straightforward route to the semis. No matter, Federer still found a way to triumph despite his last official tournament prior to that coming at 2016 Wimbledon. It's like, let's just see what happens.

"I'm just going to stay positive and keep working to get back in the best shape and best place possible to do well for my next tournaments".

Nadal's match will be preceded by two other top-four seeds in second-round action: first No.4 seed Elina Svitolina faces Czech Katerina Siniakova before Caroline Wozniacki, the No.2 seed, takes on Croatia's Jana Fett. "Having no expectations was so nice after all these years always having expectations, like now this year again", Federer said.

Federer says the likes of six-times champion Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, both returning after lengthy injury breaks, could benefit from the same mindset he arrived with in Melbourne a year ago, when he was just back from a six-month hiatus.

When asked if tennis tournament organisers should do more to address the recent spate of player injuries, Federer disagreed. The 20-year-old heads into the year's first Grand Slam ranked fourth in the world, courtesy of five titles last year.

The Swiss breezed through his media duties on Sunday with the same swagger he will take on court against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday, when he kicks off the defense of the title he won against great rival Rafa Nadal past year. "Victories are the most important thing now", he said. But while there are many things that have been impressive about Federer's resurgence, one thing stands out - the 36-year-old is having an absolute blast.

"Even if it was 100 percent healed, after six months out of competition, you never know how you are going to react", he said.

"It means so much to me", Bencic told BBC Radio 5 live.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic says he's excited to be back after a long injury-enforced break, admitting he has missed the "fire and passion" of competitive tennis. It was like a little boy in the candy store back in the day. "Now I have a big family. A lot of changing, I feel". Although it would be great to have him on top of the contest, at the time, it seems like a wild dream. Is it the best ever? And while Federer has fun, nobody in Melbourne will enjoy facing him this fortnight.

But he wore no strapping and appeared to move freely in a ruthless 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 demolition of the Dominican Republic's Victor Estrella Burgos in just 94 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

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