Australian Open : Federer Favourite?

Novak Djokovic wants players to earn a larger percentage of prize money at grand slam tournaments

Novak Djokovic wants players to earn a larger percentage of prize money at grand slam tournaments Credit AP

Kyrgios will carry the burden of expectation, but says he has a more mature outlook to help deal with that - calling the Open "just another tournament". There's so many bittersweet memories from it, [it] kind of set up a great year for me.

Danger lurks at nearly every corner, with former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and a resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who beat Federer for the 2009 U.S. Open title, looming as threats before the quarter-finals.

"It was a great test for me to see where I am, to see how I feel, to hear the score being called and feel the pressure of break points".

That unforgettable triumph ended a five-year hiatus in Federer's grand slam collection and a few months later, he took his tally to a record-extending 19 by winning Wimbledon.

Roger Federer and other elite tennis players joined superheros like Spiderman and Thor to entertain the crowd at the Australian Open kids day yesterday. "No matter if I'm here, Wimbledon, US Open; it's the same for me", he said. The problems that they had are different issues, different injuries, but I had these problems during my career couple of times.

The 16-times grand slam champion showed no sign of discomfort in defeating fifth seed Thiem and said he felt "good" and was "more or less" playing well. He brought last season to an early end when he surrendered to a long-standing hip injury, but has started 2018 in top form, winning the Brisbane International on Sunday, beating Dimitrov along the way. "But right now it's at the level where I can compete, and every day is getting better". This enables us the option of the plethora of candidates (including Djokovic) in quarter three, as well as Federer in quarter four, and bettors who aren't put off by backing odds-on shots can consider this possibility. The German, who finished 2016 as world No.1 had a troublesome 2017 in which she slid down the rankings to end the year in 22nd place.

"I'd love to do well here but, for me, it's just another tournament".

"You can't really name one thing or one reason why I haven't gone that far yet". Should he get by those two matches, the former world number one should get to the second week with a blockbuster with Alexander Zverev looming large.

"That's what happened for me past year".

"That's my feeling. We chose to play another match. I start from zero again", he added. Having posed with a quokka and enjoyed the surf at Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, he teamed up with Belinda Bencic as Switzerland won the Hopman Cup team exhibition event. The bookies fancy his chances and so does everyone else who has surveyed the draw.

Despite the tough draw and the toll that 2017 would've had on his body, Federer is the favourite to win his 20th major in a fortnight's time.

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