March 21, 2018

On The Line podcast: Australian Open preview

14 January 2018, 08:16 | Sandy Nunez

Australian Open 2018: 5 first round matches to watch

Young and hungry: Five bright fire in Melbourne

De Minaur has the chance to continue his giant killing spree with an unfavourable first round Australian Open clash against world no.20 Tomas Berdych. "Honestly, it's a good place to be". I didn't win many sets, but that's not the most important.

Danger lurks at nearly every corner, with former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and a resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who beat Federer for the 2009 US Open title, looming as threats before the quarter-finals.

He said: "My knee feel goods".

Federer took his grand slam tally to 19 after extended rest breaks and Nadal, who enters his 18th season on the ATP tour, has also benefitted from carefully picking tournaments to preserve his fitness, something he will do so again this year.

He can take some credit for the vast improvement in Nadal's second serve, which helped the Spaniard win a 10th Roland Garros title without dropping a set and saw him blow away Kevin Anderson to lift the final major of the year in NY. "I did it. Obviously I wanted to win a Masters 1000 event, and I did it", said this year's third seed at the Australian Open. We often engage in debates about the Greatest Of All Time, but do we spend time quantifying the collective prowess of generations and bench-marking how good (or bad) an entire generation of players was?

"I've played a lot of matches and won a lot of matches on that court", he said.

It has been an encouraging start for Kyrgios, who has always struggled to control his emotions while wielding one of the most devastating games on the ATP Tour. "I was thinking, 'how did I lose that match?'" But after giving himself time to reflect on the match, his perspective changed.

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He was seeded No 1 on Thursday, but the world of tennis will be waiting to find out if his knee injury will get in the way of his grand slam ambitions. I played juniors with her. "Just one match at a time". It was the latest stumble for the former world No 1 but his 2017 took a more serious downward turn in the summer when, after pulling out during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych, he announced he would be taking the rest of the season off to rehabilitate an ongoing elbow problem.

"You can't really name one thing or one reason why I haven't gone that far yet".

He is also feeling as confident as he can given how little match play he has had in the build up to the tournament.

Federer added: "I think he's incredibly talented". The much touted "Next Gen" players may beg to differ with that assessment but of the young guns desperate to prove themselves, the likes of Alexander Zverev, Thiem, Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov, none have experienced life at the very sharp end of a major event.

"Having seem him in action at the Hopman Cup, he was looking great".

"I haven't been spending too much time around the courts".

Halep has since been bolstered by words from four-time Grand Slam victor, Kin Clijsters.

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