Sport Australian Open could see early Roger Federer - Rafael Nadal blockbuster

13:50  12 january  2017
13:50  12 january  2017 Source:   Sporting News

Federer through in four sets on grand slam return

  Federer through in four sets on grand slam return On his return to grand slam action, Roger Federer was briefly tested by Jurgen Melzer but came through with a degree of comfort.Former world number one Federer is in the unfamiliar position of being seeded a distant 17th at Melbourne Park, following an injury-plagued 2016 that saw him miss the French Open, US Open and the Olympics.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are set to add some first-week intrigue to the Australian Open and could meet in the third round.

Not for the first time, all eyes will be on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when the draw for the Australian Open is made at Melbourne Park on Friday. Rafael Nadal (L) embraces a tearful Roger Federer after beating the Swiss in a classic encounter in the finals of the 2009 Australian Open . (Photo: GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images). The pair have contested eight grand slam finals but as the 2017 grand slam season begins on Jan. 16, the two heavyweights of the Tour may face off in the third round of the Australian Open .

The returning Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are adding even more than usual to the Australian Open.

The duo's injuries in 2016 have seen them slip down the rankings, Nadal to ninth and Federer eight places below him.

Expectations are, for the most part, low.

With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray picking up where they left off – winning through to a final, this time in Doha – the world's top two will fancy their chances of meeting in yet another decider at Melbourne Park.

Laver urges Federer to play three more years

  Laver urges Federer to play three more years Swiss great Roger Federer should continue playing for another three years, according to Rod Laver.Federer said late last year he wanted to play at least two more years, with speculation over his future having increased after a knee injury in 2016.

Follow Emily Benammar's live game-by-game commentary of the Australian Open semi-final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday January 26 2012.

New Site Coming Soon. Please check back in the next few days. Nadal , Federer & Dimitrov’s Nike Tennis Fall 2014 Collection

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal But their paths, and those of Federer and Nadal, shape as being far different.

There is every chance the Swiss maestro and Spanish star – 31 grand slams between them – could meet in the third round.

The round of 32 – Federer v Nadal, the pair whose epic battles have been reserved for eight major finals and three semis and never earlier at grand slams.

Of the past five years, the ninth and 17th seeds have been due to meet in the third round three times – 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Federer-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Nadal-Richard Gasquet would still be decent battles, but are less appealing.

However, just the presence of Federer and Nadal in their unfamiliar places in the draw is sure to provide some life to the first week.

Australian Open: Five fascinating first-week ties

  Australian Open: Five fascinating first-week ties Grand slams are known for coming to life in the second week, but the Australian Open looks set to provide plenty of intrigue straight away.We take a look at the most intriguing contests thrown up by the respective men's and women's draws.

The 2009 Australian Open Men's Singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2009 Australian Open . It was contested between the world's top two players for much of the previous four years, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

The 2013 Roger Federer tennis season officially began on 14 January at the start of the 2013 Australian Open . This season saw Federer suffer a considerable decline in form, dropping five places to number 7 in the world, his lowest ranking in 11 years

A knee injury saw Federer play just 28 matches last year, but he looked in decent form at the Hopman Cup.

He had wins over Gasquet and Dan Evans, while losing a battle against talented German Alexander Zverev.

Nadal, meanwhile, reached the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International, with easy wins against Alexandr Dolgopolov and Mischa Zverev.

But Milos Raonic claimed a rare win over Nadal, who battled a wrist injury last year.

Zverev and Raonic shape as just two potential threats to Djokovic and Murray, along with the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori.

The depth of the field highlights the challenge awaiting Federer and Nadal, with their draws set to provide a greater – and more entertaining – test.

Rain no drama for reigning champ Milos Raonic .
Canadian tennis star and defending Brisbane International champion Milos Raonic reckons cooler conditions will make for better play at this year's tournament.World No.3 Raonic defeated Roger Federer in last year's final and will return to Pat Rafter Arena to face either American Sam Querrey or Argentine Diego Schwartzman after his first-round bye.

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