Djokovic returns from injury layoff with thumping win

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If the draw goes to seeding, Dimitrov would face American Jack Sock in the last eight, with ailing world number five Dominic Thiem, who withdrew from Kooyong because of illness on Thursday, taking on Zverev.

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.

For a man who has enjoyed such domination in the sport, holding the top spot in the rankings for over four years, it will feel a tad unusual entering this particular Grand Slam some way down the list of favourites. "I'm pretty good, a bit exhausted, I worked hard while I've been in Australia which is why I arrived pretty early here, so I can't wait to start this tournament", Pouille said.

A string of local hopes were also dealt hard draws; 17-year-old Destanee Aiava will face world number one Simona Halep while fellow teenager Alex De Minaur, who has made the semi-finals at both the Brisbane and Sydney Internationals, will play Tomas Berdych.

Young gun Zverev had little luck in his first Australian Open draw as a top five seed with either Wawrinka, who plays Ricardas Berankis, or Novak Djokovic potentially standing in his path in the quarter-finals.

She led the WTA Tour in prize money last year ahead of Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep, who ended the year at No. 1.

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But his toughest test could come in the quarterfinals, where either in-form No.7 seed David Goffin - the Belgian who ended the Swiss star's ATP Finals run - or his US Open vanquisher, No.12 seed Juan Martin del Potro, are drawn to end up.

Novak Djokovic made a resounding return on Wednesday after being six months out with an elbow injury, declaring he felt “great” after beating world number five Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic.The Serbian 12-time Grand Slam victor was in good form, and full of optimism, after his first competitive outing since losing a Wimbledon quarterfinal to Tomas Berdych last July.

Djokovic is in the bottom half anchored by second-seeded Roger Federer, who opens his title defence against 51 {+s} t-ranked Aljaz Bedene.

Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title four months after giving birth to her first child, leaving the women's draw open. "But I don't want to say it's 100 per cent". Anything can happen. It's a Grand Slam.

Roger Federer is the "clear favourite" to retain his Australian Open title over an injury-riddled field when the first grand slam of the season starts next week in Melbourne, tennis analysts said on Wednesday. "Especially it's only 20 minutes away from Rod Laver Arena so it's the same conditions and we'll see in a couple of days (where I'm at)". "I'm just going to go out there, try to weather the storm, and try to play my game", De Minaur said.

Edmund tried to do just that a year ago at Roland Garros but the big South African simply would not let him; Anderson won in five sets.

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