Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Djokovic happy with return ahead of Open

Djokovic happy with return ahead of Open

But the year was largely deflating, as he was bundled out early from the Grand Slams while battling hip problems through majority.

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of the 2018 season, starts Monday with everyone wondering if Roger Federer can repeat his remarkable victory 12 months ago.

World number one Rafael Nadal will begin a new journey come January 15 as he look to continue his upward tennis graph at Australian Open but without Uncle Toni in the players' box.

Djokovic is seeded 14th and will be coming off just a couple of exhibition matches to prepare for his first-round encounter against Donald Young. "I've missed it", he said Saturday at Melbourne Park.

'It feels great. Obviously I was waiting for this moment for six months to get out on the court and play a match, ' Djokovic said. If he have something to tell me, he call me and tell me.

Sharapova begins her Australian Open against Germany's Tatjana Maria then in the second round could get a rematch with Sevastova, who ousted the Russian in the US Open previous year. I can't expend too much energy, you know, on other things.

The six-time Australian Open victor enlisted the help of tennis great Andre Agassi and power hitter Andy Roddick, to find a way to help release the "load from the elbow".

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic happy with return ahead of Open

Not only can he clinch a 17th Grand Slam in Melbourne, but he also has the opportunity to join Roy Emerson and Rod Laver as only the third man in the Open era to win each of the four Grand Slams twice.

"For me, the Australian Open always, if you are not 100 percent motivated to play this tournament, you probably you don't love this sport", he said.

The 2008 champion and current world No. 47 kicks off her campaign against a player ranked one place higher, Germany's Tatjana Maria. "But right now it's at the level where I can compete, and every day is getting better", he said.

"But everyone starts from zero".

Last season gave renewed hope that Dimitrov might still blossom into the Grand Slam champion he seemed set to become as an extravagantly-talented junior.

"I kind of want to keep it even-keeled throughout the whole year rather than being such a roller-coaster ride".

Spain's Rafael Nadal talks with his coach Carlos Moya during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. He has enough confidence with me, or I have enough confidence with him, to talk about anything I have to talk.

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