January 23, 2019

Rafael Nadal loses to Richard Gasquet at Kooyong Classic

14 January 2018, 12:34 | Anna Jefferson

Tim Henman says Roger Federer is the favourite to win Australian Open 4 Jan 2018  View 1913 by Gatto Luigi

Tim Henman says Roger Federer is the favourite to win Australian Open

Happy memories of Australia are also personal in another way for Federer, who fondly recalls his first visit for a family holiday as a 14-year-old.

World number one Rafael Nadal lost his first match of the year 6-4, 7-5 to Richard Gasquet at the Kooyong Classic on Tuesday, but said he was happy after his troublesome knee held up "fine".

The Australian Open will be a barren tournament for the British men unless Kyle Edmund - now our only male representative - can stage a significant upset over US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.

The 25-year-old American suffered a hip injury during his match against Yuichi Sugita in the Hopman Cup but recovered to return two days later and play against Roger Federer.

"It will probably be ideal if I got another tournament under my belt coming up to the Australian Open but I haven't had a chance, it wasn't meant to be, my elbow was not ready".

"Obviously, I was waiting for this moment for six months to get out on the court and play a match", he said.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew from his first tour event of 2018, in Brisbane, with continuing knee problems, and is seeking match practice in a Melbourne exhibition event ahead of the January 15 start.

Aiava said she'd been in good form physically but, mentally, wasn't where she needed to be. Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapoenko vs. He can take some credit for the vast improvement in Nadal's second serve, which helped the Spaniard win a 10th Roland Garros title without dropping a set and saw him blow away Kevin Anderson to lift the US Open.

Like rivals Djokovic and Wawrinka, Murray last played in Wimbledon where he was beaten by Sam Querrey in an epic five-setter.

Novak Djokovic, Garbine Muguruza and Stan Wawrinka all face fitness questions ahead of next week's Australian Open.

Nadal, who pulled out of his first ATP Tour event of the year but appeared at an exhibition match, starts his Australian campaign against the 83rd-ranked Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic.

Serena Williams may not be around to defend her title this year but sister Venus will be looking to go one better to claim a fifth singles title Down Under. So ravaged are both draws, it is a taking a leap of faith to declare across time zones that there will be no more wounded joining the leading women and men who have either fallen or are sinking to their knees before the first grand slam of the season.

Third-seeded Muguruza is in a hard quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, and U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.

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