Thiem in doubt for Australian Open campaign

Jose Verdugo
Enero 13, 2018

In the top half of the draw, Rafael Nadal's first serious threat ought to come in the shape of John Isner in the fourth round.

Slovenian Aljaz Bedene is defending champion Federer's first task on Rod Laver Arena for 2018.

The former World No.1 made an impressive return to action in an exhibition clash with Dominic Thiem yesterday but admitted his elbow is still not 100 per cent.

"There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year", he admitted.

He's hoping to continue last year's progress under new coach Carlos Moya.

Seeded down in 14th after not playing competitively since Wimbledon, six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is up against Donald Young. "I don't like usually going to draws because they freak me out - I don't want to know who I play other than just seeing the sheet at the end and knowing who my first-round opponent is".

So maybe Nadal versus Federer in the final isn't so much of a long shot after all?

He beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the second round of the 2017 US Open.

More news: First responders search for 8 still missing after California mudslides

Dan Evans, who reached the fourth round here previous year, is still serving a ban after his positive cocaine test, while Aljaz Bedene - who will play an eye-catching first-round match here against defending champion Roger Federer - has switched his nationality back to his native Slovenia.

Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Victoria Azarenka are all big-name players who won't be participating in the Australian Open this year.

Federer took his Grand Slam tally to 19 after extended rest breaks and Nadal, who enters his 18th season on the ATP tour, has also benefitted from carefully picking tournaments to preserve his fitness.

Top-ranked Simona Halep opens against Australian wild card Destanee Aiava, has a potential second-round match against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, and is in the same half as Garbine Muruguza, the Wimbledon champion.

Her sister Venus, who lost the all-Williams Australian Open final previous year, has a tough opener against Belinda Bencic - who combined with Federer to win the Hopman Cup for Switzerland last week - and is also in the same quarter as U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens.

"Ranking points, player withdrawals and how we deal with that is something we've got to and are looking at", he told Fairfax Media in Auckland.

"It's not an official match but still a test for me and good practice, that's the most important thing, that's the most important thing for the whole season", the 31-year-old Spaniard said, reaffirming his need to keep practising hard to be prepared for the Australian Open.

"The boys are young and one of them was watching me at the Hopman Cup last week and he said: 'I can do what Papa can, I can play tennis too'".

Otros informes por

Discuta este artículo

SIGUE NUESTRO PERIÓDICO