ibusinesslines.com March 21, 2018

Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after 6-month absence

14 January 2018, 12:34 | Charlene Valdez

No Uncle for old Rafa

No extra Australian Open pressure for favourite Federer

The 30-year-old, who won the year's first Grand Slam five times in six years until 2016, did not have it all his own way in a tighter second set and it went with serve to 5-4 when Djokovic broke again to wrap up the victory in 42 minutes.

The Serb wasn't at his best in defeating the world number five.

As for Federer, it is business as usual in his pursuit of a remarkable 20th grand slam.

The 16-time Grand Slam victor was far from his best in the exhibition encounter against a player he has beaten 15-0 on the ATP Tour in a rivalry dating back to junior days.

There seems no escape from cumulative injury or sporadic ill-health on either the ATP or WTA Tours, as the seasons do not so much rage and subside but overlap from one minor crisis to another.

"My coaches and I felt that I can beat these players, I have the capabilities to win these matches and win in big tournaments so I started playing Challengers more to get used to the big competition and the tough matches and it really helped my game and helped my mentality".

"I'll be over the moon if I can play, which I'm planning to".

Top-ranked Simona Halep opens against Australian wild card Destanee Aiava, has a potential second-round match against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, and is in the same half as Garbine Muruguza, the Wimbledon champion.

"It was a fantastic test for me to see where I am, to see what we have done as a team ... and whether it works on the court".

As previously mentioned, Thiem's best result at the Australian Open came previous year, making the second week for the first time in his fourth appearance at the tournament.

"I had plenty of time, but at the same time the elbow needed more time to recover".

Support for the immensely strong Wawrinka had been growing, but he pulled out of the Tie Break Tens on Wednesday, casting doubt over his participation in Melbourne and it would be asking a lot for him to emulate his Swiss friend, Federer, who shocked the world a year ago after being out for seven months. "I increased my serve by several kilometres per hour and I think I did better overall with my second than first, and I can say I won some points nearly for free as a result", Nadal said in an interview with Spanish daily AS in December.

"I feel ready! Idemo (let's go)!"

"It's not a secret that I have my sights on 25". "For now everything at the moment is going in the right direction", the Serbian star said on Thursday.

This championship is the first of the four tournaments that make up the Grand Slam and takes place every January.

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