Djokovic & Wawrinka pose threat to Zverev — Australian Open draw

It was the test he sorely needed, the 30-year-old said, and one he was pleased to pass with flying colours.

Long-absent luminaries Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Kei Nishikori remain absent, and Murray will be out for at least several months more after hip surgery.

Djokovic is in the bottom half anchored by second-seeded Roger Federer, who opens his title defence against 51 {+s} t-ranked Aljaz Bedene.

He seems to be the biggest hurdle for Djokovic as the two have been drawn in the same quarter. But the first Major starts on a somewhat equal footing for the younger lot. The odds are particularly in his favor if the playing conditions in Melbourne are quick, as they were last year when he won the title by surprise after a six-month layoff.

In mid-2016, Dimitrov was ranked as low as 40.

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Federer says his three-year-old sons Leo and Lenny "seem very interested" in tennis and that his eight-year-old daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, also identical twins, think his friends in the locker-room like countryman Stan Wawrinka are all part of the family. Although the talented Bulgarian didn't have a commanding season, he showed that he can turn the corner on his performance at the decisive moments.

Maria Sharapova [16.0] will get plenty of attention, after re-entering the top 50 for the first time since her ban.

The tennis community and sporting world yearns for another instalment in the Federer-Nadal rivalry but while form is temporary and class is permanent, a lack of preparation may rob the Australian public of another unforgettable event. In fact the world No.2, Caroline Wozniacki hasn't won a Slam either.

However, he has to improve on his consistency at the highest level and the Australian Open would be a good chance. "Hopefully if I can reach the last few rounds, I will feel more comfortable". He also had to withdraw from the ATP Qatar Open and an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, reports Efe.

The temperamental Nick Kyrgios was at his brilliant best in the first week of the season as he stunned Dimitrov from a set down and then beat Ryan Harrison to claim the Brisbane International title.

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But, after beating Thiem 6-1 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic, Djokovic declared himself happy.

In the 2017 Australian Open, Djokovic lost in the second round to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. "Every player is here with all his heart and energy, trying to do his best". Has two career wins over Rafael Nadal.

Will Djokovic be a contender in Melbourne?

After that, John Isner (16) or Diego Schwartzman (24) could meet the Spaniard in the round of 16.

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