Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Federer in right space as Open rivals play catch up

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Shannon Reynolds | 16 January, 2018, 00:17

Nadal was clearly delighted with his performance as he walked off court and the 14-time Grand Slam Champion will now play Mayer of Argentina in the 2nd round as he continues his quest for another Australian Open title.

With the 36-year-old Williams not ready yet to return, the tournament could be there for the taking by a host of players yet to win a Grand Slam led by top seed Halep, Wozniacki and fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina.

World number two Roger Federer, on the back of a phenomenal comeback season in 2017, will, of course, be one to watch, however, Federer himself doesn't quite share that same confidence.

"With age, I feel like I play down my chances just because I don't think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament, it should not be the case", the world number two said Sunday.

But he added "at the end of the day, it's all just talk beforehand".

"This year, I hope to win the first few rounds and get rolling hopefully, whereas last year, I was just hoping to win [a match]".

"I think you have to kind of put everything in perspective, evaluate where you are", she said. It's always tough because everybody can play'.

"My focus needs to be early because I have my own problems, you know, to get through my section of the draw, my game".

CBB's India Willoughby Sparks Rachel Johnson Fix Claims
No master plan, I reckon he connects with Courtney cause they have shared outlook and humour. "It just didn't go down very well". During her first interviews, the self-titled Big Brother "superfan" said that her tactics for the show had failed her early on.

Virat Kohli dedicates his 150 to Anushka Sharma, kisses engagement ring
Coming in at 28 for 2 in India's reply to South Africa's first innings total of 335, Kohli took the attack to the opposition. But India missed chances, notably dropping Rabada twice off successive balls when South Africa would have slipped to 289-7.

Danica Patrick confirms she's dating NFL QB Aaron Rodgers
The two have been 'really hitting it off, ' but still 'want to keep this quiet for now, ' the source told the website. The two reportedly met at the ESPYs in 2012 but have been linked romantically since the beginning of January.

The Dane first rose to World No 1 eight years ago and is back riding high at No 2 after a 2017 season in which she reached eight finals and won the season-ending Tour Championship.

Grigor Dimitrov, ATP Finals champion, will hope to improve on his run to the semi-final previous year and began well with a convincing 6-3 6-2 6-1 victory over qualifier Denis Novak while Marin Cilic was made to work hard for a 6-2 6-2 4-6 7-6 (5) success over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

But lucky dress or not, she will need to overcome her poor record at Melbourne Park where she has lost in the first round in both of the past two years when she opens on Tuesday against Australian wildcard Destinee Aiava. Maybesimilar to what Novak (Djokovic) or Stan (Wawrinka) or others are going through this year. "So I am happy to be here, happy that I'm on court again", he said. "I feel OK. I feel fit", said the 26-year-old. Do I enjoy it more now?

Nadal, who is gunning for a 17th major title but only his second Australian Open crown, is making up for lost time from a knee injury at the tail-end of the 2017 season. It just so happens that it turned into one of the best of his career.

"I (wasn't) at 100 per cent, but you never know in a week's time what's going to be happening".

"If you're in the draw, you give yourself a chance".

A similar draw awaits the Swiss this time Down Under, where unlike past year he would be the favourite. Serena Williams, who was pregnant when she beat Venus here past year to claim her 23rd major title, gave birth to her first child - Alexis Olympia - in September. All the five-setters, as well.

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