Rafael Nadal gearing up for Australian Open

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

The 29-year-old has continued 2018 where he left off with a 21st career title looming at this week's ASB Classic in Auckland and he will return to the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since August 2014 when he gears himself up for a first-round test against the hugely-talented American Frances Tiafoe.

He missed warmup events in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane but appeared untroubled in an exhibition match win over Austrian world number five Dominic Thiem at Melbourne Park on Friday.

"I really hope to be ready".

No man has more Australian Open titles than Djokovic, who has six in all and — until last year's shocking second-round exit — had won five of the six contested from 2011 to 2016.

Federer will saddle up for a 19th time in the main draw at Melbourne Park, looking to frustrate "Generation Next" once again and defend the title he won past year during a stunning comeback from knee surgery.

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 U.S. Open title, looming as threats before the quarter-finals.

"The correction and improvements to the serve are allowing me to be more efficient and spend less energy", he said.

"I feel that I had a good week and a half of practices". I lost to Nadal in five sets in the Australian Open.

I played in Kooyong once.

"We chose to start later because we needed some more practice". Talking with the Australian Open, yeah, they gave us the chance to play like an open practice but closer to the match for the crowd.

"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 everyone starts from zero. I start from zero again", he said. The latter is one of the rising stars of the game, but faces the prospect of having to beat his sibling and Novak to even reach the quarter-finals.

"I hope to be healthy and competitive, and most important thing, I hope to enjoy tennis one more year".

"I'm happy with the way that I am working with (coaches) Carlos (Moya), with Francis (Roig) and the rest of my team".

"In terms of professional things, I spoke to him few days ago, speaking about how the life is going, how the tennis is going". If he has something to tell me, he calls me and tells me.

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