Australian Open 2018: Could we see new champions in both draws?

Karolina Pliskova

He had an exceptional 2017, winning seven titles, including two Slams - the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

With many big ATP stars struggling with injuries, Thiem was able to stay fit throughout most the season and put in a solid season, though there were some moments where he looked like he was struggling.

No one was able to get anywhere close a year ago, not just in terms of consistently winning the biggest tournaments but also when it comes to charisma.

It was a welcome sight for Australian Open organisers and fans following the withdrawals of five-time runner-up Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori as well as 23-time slam victor Serena Williams on the women's side, but Djokovic insisted he is still not 100 per cent fit with the tournament set to get underway on Monday.

Djokovic told Omnisport: "These two guys, considering the year they had and considering they played finals together here in Australia".

The top 32 players in the draw are seeded, meaning they can't meet until the third round, while the top 16 can't meet each other until the fourth round and so on, with the first and second seeds unable to meet until the final. In fact the world No.2, Caroline Wozniacki hasn't won a Slam either.

"I didn't know what was going to happen but we did some treatments and gave it a lot of thought and luckily for me I'm here".

However there was an exciting reprieve to the swathe of dropouts when former world number one Novak Djokovic signalled that he would be ready to take to the court in Melbourne. The US Open champion said that she needed an extra week's rehab.

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Cabrera was awarded a wildcard into the Australian Open draw last week and the world No.152 will chase her first win on Australian soil this summer when she faces off with world No.71 Maia.

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.

"I was happy to be out there and I was focused on myself and trying to work on things myself", the 23-year-old said.

The draw for the Open is announced Thursday, with the first round to begin Monday.

Women's tennis starts its 2018 campaign with the usual early focus on the Australian Open and a huge question mark over who can fill the yawning gap left by the absence of Serena Williams.

The Serb wasn't at his best in defeating the world number five.

"But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams".

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