Oftentimes, the most obvious answer is obvious for a reason. After Cilic would be the third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.
But after flattering in the initial rounds of a major he would disappoint against one of his more experienced opponents (read Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year). Wins four or five matches at the Hopman Cup against high-level competition. Garbiñe Muguruza leads this part of the draw but a retirement and a withdrawal leading up to the event while Agnieszka Radwanska has shown flashes of brilliance but isn't fully to her best yet.
JT: Pablo Carreno Busta. Djokovic has won 10 of his last 13 matches on hard court. Another first or second round defeat is on the cards.
"There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year", he admitted.
"You see how physical it is on the court, and then you see the traveling and the challenge of our sport versus others in terms of time zone changes and the variables in conditions", said Justin Gimelstob, an ATP board member and former player and coach. After all Federer did not win a major until he was 22.
Federer won the 2017 Australian Open.
Shapovalov beat del Potro when the pair first met in Montreal last year, but the 18-year-old made too many errors Wednesday to repeat that performance.
Australia's sole men's seed, Nick Kyrgios, takes on Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva.
Cb: Frances Tiafoe. The 19-year-old American is considered the next big thing in American tennis.
"Mentally and emotionally, having kids, having a family, he gets away from the game".
Stephens withdrew from the Brisbane International due to a troublesome knee. Her maiden grand slam title awaits.
"Roger, obviously, with the year he had is the favourite", Djokovic said.
Nadal leads in their head-to-heads by 23 to 15, and in Grand Slams by nine to three.
Federer, seeded second, and will bid for his 20th Grand Slam title in the bottom half of the draw. Also in this section are Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. "It's important to find a good rhythm".
GC: Johanna Konta. The Briton had a mixed 2017 season and her inconsistency could carry over here. Last year's finalist will take on the young Swiss who has been brilliant since her return from injury late last season. The Briton was forced to withdraw two days before the start of the US Open after failing to recover from the hip injury which bothered him during his loss to Querrey.
In a separate rule change designed to get matches started more quickly, warm-up times will be strictly enforced. The defending champion returned to tennis after giving birth to daughter Olympia, at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where she was beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
"Of course well deserved for him".
Will Djokovic be a contender in Melbourne?
Yes, there could be plenty for Aussies are qualifying is complete. It's a spirit perhaps inspired by art of the surrealist artist René Magritte, to whom the Magritte Museum is dedicated.