Djokovic Marks Comeback in Style With Crushing Win Over Dominic Thiem

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, number two in the world, will have a hard path at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, it was determined today at the raffle held in this city.

The women's side of the draw is wide open, with Serena Williams announcing last week she will not be there to defend her crown despite demonstrating her fitness in an exhibition win over Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in December.

The 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka, who hasn't played since last year's Wimbledon and subsequent knee surgery, has had little warm-up work and is no longer with his four-year coach Magnus Norman.

Sharapova, who won the 2008 Australian title and reached three other finals at Melbourne Park, missed last year's tournament during a 15-month suspension after a failed doping test here in 2016.

"I didn't know what was going to happen but we did some treatments and gave it a lot of thought and luckily for me I'm here". "I'm taking it on a day-by-day basis and doing everything I possibly can".

Of course, those matches were when he was free from injury and able to play to his true potential but even just a half-strength Djokovic is likely to cause great anxiety for the pair. "We'll have to keep working on that because in my career there are two vital things, the serve and the return, where I start the point and where I have to attack so I don't have to run more than I need to. And I feel like I am ready".

The Spaniard had called off his 2017 season due to a knee injury after playing his last match at the ATP Finals.

One man who might have been expected to have a major say in proceedings is Novak Djokovic, who holds the Open era record with six wins at Melbourne.

Djokovic, seeded 14th, opens against 63rd-ranked Donald Young, and could face 39th-ranked Gael Monfils - who was himself ranked sixth a year ago - in the second round.

Nadal and Wawrinka are battling to overcome knee injuries ahead of the Open starting next Monday, while Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have already pulled out of the year's first major.

He could not give a definitive answer to whether he will absolutely play in the year's first grand slam next week, but said all signs are now positive. He could meet Nick Kyrgios in a fourth-round blockbuster, which would be a rematch of their Brisbane semi-final last week, won by the gifted but combustible Aussie.

"Right now it's all about recovering and feeling the ball for the Oz Open".

  • Julie Sanders