Domingo, 16 Diciembre, 2018

Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after 6-month absence

Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after 6-month absence Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after 6-month absence
Alejandro Castrejon | Enero 14, 2018, 19:02

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, seeded 14th for this year's tournament, has a couple of potential early obstacles with American Donald Young and potentially mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round.

The biggest threat to the Spaniard looks likely to come from the towering presence of the big-serving Croat Marin Cilic. The hard-server from Thornhill, Ont., is a former world No. 3 but has seen his ranking slip after an injury-plagued 2017.

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.

His best result at a Grand Slam so far has been reaching the last four at Wimbledon in 2014 and repeating the feat in Australia last year, when he went down to Nadal in an intense five-setter.

It was an unpleasant surprise and a reminder that - without Murray, who is convalescing in Melbourne after hip surgery - the British ranks are painfully lacking in depth.

But, after beating Thiem 6-1 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic, Djokovic declared himself happy. He has never gone past the fourth round of a Grand Slam, and he's reached that stage only once, at Wimbledon in 2017 where Milos Raonic bread-sticked him the decider after four tough Tests. He withdrew from the 2017 ATP Finals in London due to a right knee injury. The live draw for both women's and men's singles brackets was held on Thursday evening (local time, which translates to Thursday morning in the United States).

Here, we assess the chances of the favourites, outsiders and dark horses following the draw for the first slam of 2018...

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. He is seeking consecutive major wins for the first time since winning the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2010.

If they do, Court, one of many Australian Open absentees this year, will not be there to witness it.

'I mean they are the two players at the top of their game and they are two of the most successful tennis players ever.

The former world number one, who will be chasing a record seventh Australian Open crown next week, had pulled out of a warm-up Abu Dhabi tournament, raising concerns over whether he would be fit enough to play at Melbourne Park.

"So this phase now, the last eight years have just been the best".