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Patrick McEnroe 'Roger Federer changed the way he trains'

Patrick McEnroe 'Roger Federer changed the way he trains' 12 Jan 2018  View 1041 by Gatto Luigi

While Serena Williams took time off to have a baby and is not yet fit for the grueling task and Melbourne heat, two-time champion Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw because of an ongoing custody battle over her 11-month-old son with her former husband.

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Back-to-back crowns would also mark the second time Federer has defended an Australian Open title, and just the 13th time it's been defended in history.

With Serena Williams still absent, the women's draw is impossible to call. I've split tennis players into half-decade long generations, based on their year of birth, starting from 1950 going all the way up to 1999, to have 10 distinct player generations. Kyrgios is aiming for a fresh assault on his home Grand Slam, where he threw away a two-set lead to lose to Andreas Seppi in the second round a year ago.

While some generations have obviously outperformed some others, no generation has been as disappointing as the rather forgettable generation I'm referring to: Players born between 1990 and 1994. "No matter if I'm here, Wimbledon, US Open; it's the same for me", he said.

"I don't feel pressure". 2017's beaten finalist is up against Belinda Bencic in the opening round.

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It forced him to skip the lead-up Brisbane International this month, and he has only had a one-match workout at the exhibition Kooyong Classic in Melbourne ahead of the Grand Slam starting Monday.

Women's top seeds: 1.

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"It's not entirely different, but at the beginning even those small tweaks and changes have made a lot of difference mentally", he said.

The first Grand Slam of the year serves off in Melbourne on January 15 and the most profound questions that will be answered should be whether the young guns could overhaul the "dinosaurs" in both the men and women's draws.

The Serbian could win the match if his arm injury, which has kept him off the court since Wimbledon, doesn't give him problems.

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The Serb hasn't played a competitive match for more than six months and it would be a tall order, to say the least, for him to turn up and win the tournament - although that was said about Federer previous year.

Djokovic has been sidelined with an elbow injury that had been progressively getting worse over the past few years.

"We'll have to keep working on that because in my career there are two vital things, the serve and the return, where I start the point and where I have to attack so I don't have to run more than I need to".

The 12-time major victor said he was doing everything possible to be ready in time for the Australian.

But he knows anything can happen so early in the season, despite being the top ranked player in the world. "For now everything at the moment is going in the right direction", he said.

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