He missed warmup events in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane but had an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic and another practice match with Dominic Thiem at Melbourne Park on Friday, complete with ball boys and a chair umpire. "I hope to be healthy and competitive, and most important thing, I hope to enjoy tennis one more year". That's it. Everything that he wants to do with me, I am happy with, no?
Federer was coming off an extended injury break and was seeded 17th at last year's Australian Open when he beat Nadal, who was seeded ninth, in five sets in the final. "But I feel good", Nadal told the reporters ahead of the tournament.
"It's impossible to be more motivated than last year or any year".
Although the time off has given Djokovic time to heal up for the 2018 season, questions still remain about whether the 30-year-old can return to the same kind of form that saw him claim 12 Grand Slam singles titles.
Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev, two men who made perhaps the biggest steps forward in 2017, believe they are ready to contend for the title at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Monday.
"I mean, Roger and Rafa's year last year has shown age is just a number, especially in Roger's case", Djokovic said Saturday in his pre-tournament news conference. "I feel myself more or less playing well".
"I feel that I had a good week and a half of practices".
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This not only gives everyone a chance to mix and mingle, but also a shot at catching the event's exclusive Pokemon . During that three hour window, players will be able to find a Pikachu which knows surf in local parks.
The 2008 champion and current world No. 47 kicks off her campaign against a player ranked one place higher, Germany's Tatjana Maria.
Nadal's career has been disrupted by injuries since 2005, but he sees a need for a more thorough examination of the tennis schedule after the latest spate of injuries.
Britain's sole representative Kyle Edmund will face big-serving US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round.
"For me, the Australian Open always, if you are not enough motivated, 100 per cent motivated to play this tournament, probably you don't love this sport", Nadal said. But, still, "everyone starts from zero. I start from zero again", he added.
If fit and firing, 2009 champion Nadal will be hard to beat but needs to bring something new to the court if he ends up facing Federer, who won all four of their matches previous year.
Toni Nadal is now coaching at the Rafael Nadal Academy, with his nephew under the tutelage of Carlos Moya.
"If I have something to ask, I ask him". If he has something to tell me, he calls me and tells me.