Australian Open 2018: 5 first round matches to watch

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Former victor Stan Wawrinka, who hasn't played since Wimbledon but said he has recovered sufficiently from a knee injury, is seeded at nine.

Top seed Rafael Nadal will be heading to the Australian Open for the first time in his career without playing in any warm-up tie.

Despite his achievements in a long career, motivation for Nadal, who needs to reach the quarter-finals to be certain of retaining his world number one ranking, with Federer breathing down his neck, remains undiminished.

That is giving Djokovic some hope.

"It's a new situation for me". I don't know how it's going to behave.

"He won a couple Grand Slams".

With so few matches under his belt ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam, he asked organisers if they could do him a special favour, and they obliged.

Off the court, the 30-year-old Serbian said he enjoyed a closer-to-normal family life off the court, including being there when his wife, Jelena, gave birth to their second child — a daughter Tara in September.

"Hopefully I can do so this week". I did it. I wanted to win a Masters 1000 event and I did it.

"It's a change in my career", he said.

"I feel that I had a good week and a half of practices".

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Djokovic says he is still managing the injury, which has caused him to abbreviate his service action.

"Both Radek and Andre have discussed a lot before the information came across to me", Djokovic said.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer after Federer's victory in the 2017 Australian Open men's singles final.

Federer will saddle up for a 19th time in the main draw at Melbourne Park, looking to frustrate "Generation Next" once again and defend the title he won a year ago during a stunning comeback from knee surgery. "But obviously that's one goal for me this year".

"I had a great year on tour but the grand slams have been a little bit shaky for me still".

This injury forced him to miss the Brisbane International and has only had a one-match practice at the exhibition Kooyong Classic ahead of the Australian Open.

The 12-time major champion revealed his elbow is not 100 per cent but he is "fine and adequate" to play at Melbourne Park, where he will face Donald Young in the first round.

"I'm hoping that it can be 100 percent at the start of the tournament". That fifth set against Rafa was maybe the best set I've ever played.

"We made a decision to start later because we needed some more practice".

"There is too many injuries on the tour".

"I mean, I'm number four in the world for a reason".