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Federer the favourite for Australian Open

Federer the favourite for Australian Open

Nadal suffered a 6-4 7-5 defeat to Richard Gasquet at the Kooyong Classic on Tuesday in his first match since the ATP Finals.

He withdrew from a warmup tournament in Abu Dhabi and last week's Brisbane International and had been concerned with his match fitness.

Although Djokovic said he was delighted with his performance, especially his serve, he acknowledged that he was still not in flawless shape.

Federer defeated Nadal in a memorable five-set final previous year to win his 18th grand slam title, before later triumphing at Wimbledon.

"There's been a lot of questions (around Wawrinka) and in fact this is the first time publicly in six months that he's said anything, so we are excited that he agreed to come here and is ready to play", Tiley said.

Federer, seeded second, and will bid for his 20th Grand Slam title in the bottom half of the draw.

Williams' quarter also includes fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina and 13th-seeded Sloane Stephens, who won last year's U.S. Open but has lost all seven matches she's played since.

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The year's first Grand Slam has been hit by big-name withdrawals with the possibility of more...

While there are many major sporting events that grace the stadiums and streets of the Victorian capital of Melbourne, Australia, none have a bigger impact on the city than the Australian Open. 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 two modern day greats who squared off in an epic in last year's final will once again have an opportunity to add another chapter to their famous FEDAL rivalry.

The 16-time Grand Slam victor was far from his best in the exhibition encounter against a player he has beaten 15-0 on the ATP Tour in a rivalry dating back to junior days. It's a great joy, I love this sport, it's a great passion of mine so I missed it.

"I played better than I thought might happen [on Wednesday] and most importantly I played without pain".

Like Federer, Nadal has pared back his playing schedule to prolong his career but the strain still showed when he pulled out of the ATP Tour Finals in November with a knee problem after losing his opening match.

She said that while she was pleased with her recovery and her progress, she was "not where I personally want to be".