AUSTRALIA OPEN: Federer drawn against Bedene, Nadal meets Burgos

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The top half appears relatively open for top-seeded Nadal, who opens against 81 {+s} t-ranked Victor Estrella Burgos.

Federer's big concern would be against del Potro in the quarters. However, the current season will be made more difficult by the return of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, who missed the 2017 campaign through injury.

They were all square after two sets, with Thiem winning a first-set tiebreak before Nadal hit his straps in the second set.

The seedings have gone largely according to the ATP world rankings, although Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are out injured and women's champion Serena Williams opted not to play after giving birth in September.

Djokovic had a contrasting 2017, starting at No. 2 but losing in a second-round upset at the Australian Open and not playing again after Wimbledon.

There is also the question of the sport's ability to police itself credibly, which will soon be back in the spotlight with the lengthy and costly Independent Review of Integrity, created to investigate potential match fixing and corruption, expected to recommend this year that the game combine its anti-doping and anti-corruption organizations into a single independent entity.

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov or eighth seed Jack Sock are possible semi-final opponents for the 16-time Grand Slam winner.

"I don't want to be over-confident", he said.

He seems to be the biggest hurdle for Djokovic as the two have been drawn in the same quarter. This is in front of you, this is what you have and I always like to work with what I have and this is the moment for me to grab the opportunity.

Australian hopes will rest largely on the shoulders of 17th seed Nick Kyrgios, who won the Brisbane International on Sunday but has struggled with his temperament and openly admitted to lacking dedication in recent years. The Russian has a point to prove and is a former-champion, having won in 2008.

"Last year's season was a bit long and I had to start a little bit later than I would've liked".

In the third round, Federer could meet Richard Gasquet, who beat the Swiss just two times on 18 matches played.

Players will also be able to claim 50 percent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive designed to allow a replacement to play instead.

Defending champion Roger Federer starts his tournament against Aljaz Bedene and is on track to face Belgium's David Goffin in the last eight.

"He lets the losses roll off his back, there's no tension there".