I'm not 100 percent: Federer plays down Australian Open title hopes

Federer joins Djokovic, Sharapova in 2nd round in Australia

"Whenever I get asked that question, it always comes across in really kind of an nearly negative way instead of acknowledging how many great players we have", the world number nine said.

Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori had to pull out of the Australian Open because of injuries and Stan Wawrinka's participation in Melbourne is shaky at best at the moment after he withdrew from the pre-Open Tiebreak Tens where Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal made their first appearances for the season.

"It's like, let's just see what happens. Even if it's 100 per cent healed, after six months of no competition, you never know how you're going to react". Talking with the Australian Open, yeah, they gave us the chance to play like an open practice but closer to the match for the crowd.

Roger Federer rates Kyrgios a threat to the established order in the year's opening Grand Slam, but says the volatile Australian is a work in progress. All the five-setters, as well. "Having no expectations was so nice after all these years always having expectations". "I feel relaxed. Obviously, winning a tournament before you play a grand slam helps", he said.

"I can't expend too much energy on other things".

The second, will Djokovic be able to do what Federer and Nadal did and make a deep run into his first comeback major, and maybe even win it? It's always tough because everybody can play'.

"That's my focus, not the other players really further down the line".

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Federer, seeded second, arrives for a first round match against mid-ranked Slovenian Aljaz Bedene after cruising through an undefeated run at the Hopman Cup.

The Australian Open takes place from 15-28 January. Four successive defeats to Federer were the main blotches on his campaign, but the Spaniard will undoubtedly be relishing the chance to renew his dominance of their great rivalry.

Nadal explained yesterday that he did not feel the conditions at the exhibition event at nearby Kooyong were similar enough to Melbourne Park.

The top seeds in the bottom quarter of the top half are third seed Grigor Dimitrov - who could have a rematch with Rafa in the semis after the two played out one of the matches of the year at the same stage last year - and Jack Sock. In-form Svitolina last week won the Brisbane International after picking up five WTA Tour titles past year, more than any other woman. I don't know what's going to happen.

He has never been beyond the second round in Melbourne and the Australian public, who have not had a home victor in the men's singles since 1976, will expect him to progress deep into the tournament this time around. I just need to know it's a long year. "I feel myself more or less playing well", he added.

"Busy. A lot going on with media, sponsors, practice". Both were said and thought to be over the hill but at the 2017 Australian Open, they showed [they met in the final] that they were not ready to abdicate their thrones.

When he and Roger Federer reached the final in Australia previous year, the watching world gasped. Maria Sharapova is also an intriguing one to watch, as she competes in her first Australian Open since 2016 after sitting out previous year due to suspension.

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