Domingo, 16 Diciembre, 2018

Rafael Nadal downs Dominic Thiem in surprise exhibition

Alejandro Castrejon | Enero 14, 2018, 04:21

Dominic Thiem withdrew from a scheduled match at the Kooyong Classic on Thursday as he recovers from a virus, disrupting the world number five's build-up to the Australian Open. Kyrgios is aiming for a fresh assault on his home Grand Slam, where he threw away a two-sets lead to lose to Andreas Seppi in the second round last year.

Federer, though, is intimately familiar with the pressure weighing down on a defending champion and will take a typically philosophical approach to his campaign at Melbourne Park.

"For me, the first thing is to play a match, to play a tennis match again".

His cause is aided by the absence of five-time losing finalist Andy Murray, who has undergone hip surgery, while Novak Djokovic is another man who has been plagued by injury as he looks to avenge last year's early exit.

Wawrinka has been battling a knee injury and has not played since he was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon last year, and the Swiss was one of the major question marks heading into the Jan. 15-28 Australian Open.

A string of local hopes were also dealt difficult draws; 17-year-old Destanee Aiava will face world number one Simona Halep while fellow teenager Alex De Minaur, who has made the semi-finals at both the Brisbane and Sydney Internationals, will play Tomas Berdych.

There has been little to cheer since the turn of the century and the last time an Australian made it to the men's final at Melbourne Park was Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

The 6'6 power-hitter has all the tools at his disposal and once he gains more experience in five-set matches, success at all tournaments, including Grand Slams, should follow.

Goffin enjoyed a strong finish to 2017, reaching the decider of the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup final with Belgium.

Talent he has in plenty, but the volatile Australian's potential has often been betrayed by his temperament.

Thiem squibbed a simple overhead with the score at 8-8, allowing Nadal to close out the match.

No 2 seed Federer, who won last year's Australian Open, has a first-round tie against Aljaz Bedene, who previously represented Great Britain.

"He's a great guy - he's going through the things, whatever he needs to go through". Now ranked a career-high 32, the run in New York solidified Rublev's status as one of the top 'NextGen' ATP players in the world and can give some of the best a run for their money in Melbourne.