Gilbert: Amazing Federer is clear Australian Open favourite

Ross Houston
January 14, 2018

Federer also has to keep an eye on Rafael Nadal, a man who has proved himself capable of beating anyone who stands in his way. Whose era would you call that? You can thank Roger Federer for that. I feel OK. I feel fit. So, for starters, Federer (1981) belongs to the same generation as Lleyton Hewitt (1981) and Andy Roddick (1982).

Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin, Jack Sock, Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta comprise the "lost generation" of ATP. So, let's try and answer that question. How could they come back from injury yet again and, from a standing start, play like in days of yore? It's easy in today's day and age to say that age is just a number, especially given the age-defying tennis Federer and Nadal produced previous year, but we can not understate the importance of age and peak physical conditioning in a sport like tennis. At ages 36 and 37 in 2017, with that number changing in June, Williams journeyed to two Grand Slam finals, one semifinal and one fourth round. "I hope to be healthy and competitive, and most important thing, I hope to enjoy tennis one more year". "So far it's been working really well". "Not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I've always said that I've always been working hard physically, I'm always trying to improve the performance at the Grand Slams".

Like Federer, Nadal has pared back his playing schedule to prolong his career but the strain still showed when he pulled out of the ATP Tour Finals in November with a knee problem after losing his opening match.

"What a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year".

Nadal played 78 matches past year, which is 21 more than Federer.

All you need to know about the 2018 Australian Open, including day-by-day results and analysis from Melbourne. She is now the highest-ranked female Australian at 19th in the world.

After sitting out most of 2017 tennis season with a career-threatening injury, former World No.1 Novak Djokovic has spent the last six months reassessing his serving technique.

The Melbourne crowds will throw their support behind the two grand slam titans but the younger generation of players probably wish they would just go away. Rafa, at [6.4], and Novak, at [9.8] join Federer in being single digit odds, at the time of writing.

He was seeded No 1 on Thursday, but the world of tennis will be waiting to find out if his knee injury will get in the way of his grand slam ambitions.

Despite having 128 players in the men's draw, and a lot of talent, not many folks - certainly not our experts - believe anyone will unseat the defending champ Down Under.

Experts' picks: This just in: It's going to be Roger Federer time again. After last year's throwback season and 12 months on from his remarkable feat in Melbourne, there is nothing to suggest Federer will be in anything less than top shape at a tournament he has won five times.

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