Federer, Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian Open

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Cilic, last year's losing Wimbledon finalist against Roger Federer, heads into his final practice days for the Australian Open content with his form.

There's a potential semifinal against Djokovic, who is aiming for a record seventh Australian Open title but is seeded 14th as he returns from six months on the sidelines with a right elbow injury.

While pleased with his progress, Djokovic - who has dropped to 14 in the world rankings - admitted he still had work to do ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year.

"I just thought that the game and the wins weren't going to come, I was probably going to lose at some stage", Federer said at Thursday night's Open draw at Melbourne Park.

Tennis Australia thus far has remained resistant to such demands, and though Navratilova said she would refuse to play on the court if she were still an active player, she considers it unlikely any of today's players will take that strong a stance.

Hon is a match away from the main Open draw after defeating highly credentialed Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 2-6 7-5 6-1. He was playing extremely well last week in Brisbane, taking on Grigor Dimitrov stroke for stroke in the quarter-finals in Brisbane, and then he lost his footing, rolled his ankle and fell over.

However, the seven-times Grand Slam champion survived the Kerber onslaught and with her confidence restored, took the first set.

"So for me after that I tried to do everything I can to get into the rally but there was pretty much no rallies at all. I don't know how to describe it".

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"I had a long year last year, so I had to start my preparation later than usual".

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. His possible path could see him face Zverev in the fourth round, Stan Wawrinka, Thiem or Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarters, before a mouth-watering prospect that is a semi-final against Federer.

"It's no point to say I could have done it or not. To me, he's the clear favourite".

Hon was the only one of eight Australians this week to reach the second round of qualifying.

Then, from the start of 2015 to mid-2016, when he won five of the six Majors and became the first man since 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles at the same time, he arguably played at a level unmatched in tennis history.

But, beneath the gleaming Djokovic exterior, cracks appeared, first emerging in Melbourne.

Fortunately, the number of question marks hanging over the sport's biggest names make it easy to predict which big names will fall early in Melbourne.

What then can one expect in 2018, as the 12-time Major winner finds himself in the middle of another Fedal narrative?

With the exhibition match tied at a set all, the duo opted to finish the match with a tie-breaker, which the Spaniard won 10-8, reported the Australian Associated Press. CiCi Bellis is one of the most promising young women on tour having reached the US Open second round at the age of just 15, and has reached the third round of both the French and US Opens in her short career.

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