Nadal, Djokovic, favourites at Australian Open, says Federer

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And now, Nadal plans to start from scratch.

The world No.1, a beaten finalist to Roger Federer in Melbourne past year, clinically took apart Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in 94 minutes in the night match on Rod Laver Arena. Nadal has won 10 of the 11 sets played against Mayer.

Nadal, who is gunning for a 17th major title, was hampered by a knee injury at the tail-end of the 2017 season.

"If I'm not feeling good, probably I will not be here", Nadal said after his error-filled loss to Richard Gasquet in an exhibition this week.

"That motivates me. Every day for me is a good motivation to go on court in front of a great crowd here in Australia, in Rod Laver Arena".

"I'm happy with the new service motion", he said.

The world No 1, a beaten finalist in Melbourne a year ago, eased past his Dominican opponent 6-1 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes on Rad Laver Arena in front of an expectant crowd.

AN overwhelming favourite to land a 20th major, Roger Federer has moved to temper Australian Open expectations by declaring he is not 100 per cent ahead of his Melbourne Park return. "It was a good start to the year". "I've always enjoyed it".

'Straight after London I had to stop for a while and then I worked step-by-step that's why I could not go to Brisbane because I started a little bit slower than usual and we wanted to do things the right way for this season again.

"So let's see. There's not much more I can do".

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"But the thing that I need to improve, the matches will give me those things, no?" Of course, there are things to improve. And, most of the favourites who exited were Americans.

World number one Rafa Nadal is through to the second round of the Australian Open with a comfortable victory over VĂ­ctor Estrella Burgos of Dominican Republic on Monday.

The top seed only conceded three games in the match and had few problems with Estrella Burgos, who has a modest 6-15 record at Grand Slams.

Sloane Stephens, who made a stellar run to the U.S. Open title past year, agrees the Australian field is still extremely tough without Williams, a 23-time major victor.

Toni Nadal is now coaching at the Rafael Nadal Academy, with his nephew under the tutelage of Carlos Moya.

"Toni was not always in the (player's) box".

The mercurial 22-year-old's often erratic behaviour on court has perhaps prevented him from reaching the heights he's capable of in Grand Slams, but he has reached a quarter-final on home turf before and he'll be hoping to do the same again here.

While he sits four behind Federer and appears to be running out of time to make the catch, the levels of fitness he was able to show in 2017 were unbelievable for a man who looked like he would never again reach the top of the sport at the end of 2016.

No such queries hang over his fitness this year and if bookmakers are to be believed the other 127 men in the draw will be fighting for the scraps from Federer's plate.

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