Rafael Nadal vs. Leonardo Mayer 2018 Australian Open Pick, Odds, Prediction

Rafael Nadal vs. Leonardo Mayer 2018 Australian Open Pick, Odds, Prediction

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.

Federer returned from a lengthy injury hiatus 12 months ago to win a stunning 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, while this time his preparation has been virtually flawless.

Djokovic had a contrasting 2017, starting at number two but losing in a second-round upset at the Australian Open and not playing again after Wimbledon.

World number five Venus Williams and US Open champion Sloane Stephens were high-profile casualties on day one of the Australian Open Monday, but Roland Garros victor Jelena Ostapenko survived.

"I feel like maybe somebody like a Rafa, with the year that he's had, and Novak with the six titles he's had here, even if it's unknown how he's feeling, they could very well be the favourites too", Federer told reporters on Sunday.

"Whose responsibility is it at the end of the day?"

If you want to know how it is done, ask the best in the business. That's all I can say. That was lucky, that was a bad draw. There's always so many great players in the draw.

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

Venus Williams out of Australian Open
She was assessed a code violation for taking too much time to return to the court - she was eating a banana. Bencic broke Williams' serve in final game of the match, winning the last four points.

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.

• Jelena Ostapenko rocketed up the rankings after her stunning French Open win past year.

"But sometimes you have to take a minute and talk to the team about it, like how we're going to approach these next three months, next year, next day. I'm just going to enjoy that, see where it takes me".

The first Australian Open men's singles was held in 1905 and women's in 1922.

No such queries hang over his fitness this year and if bookmakers are to be believed the other 127 men in the draw will be fighting for the scraps from Federer's plate.

Even with Murray and Novak Djokovic out of the frame for much of 2017 due to injury, "Gen Next" once again failed to make inroads at the four tournaments that really count.

In Melbourne, Nadal is at his first major tournament in years without his uncle Toni, who coached him from childhood until after his US Open win last year. It's like, let's just see what happens. Considering his age and that he had never had such a long time away from the game owing to injury, it was probably the first time in a decade and a half that no one gave him a realistic chance of being in contention for a non-clay major. That's what happened for me past year.

"I would like to have played someone easier", said Bencic. Meanwhile, Serena Williams, who had a baby in September has pulled out of the tournament and will not compete to retain the trophy, boosting chances for World No.1 Simona Halep and Venus Williams to go for a Grand Slam victory at the start of the year. All the five-setters, as well.

Related Articles