Thiem recovering from bug ahead of Open

Lynette Rowe
January 14, 2018

What was more concerning, albeit in an exhibition, was his performance against retired 36-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals of the event - first to 10 points - having survived match points against the Australian. And he got some great projected seeds in a third round clash with Damir Dzumhur, 16 John Isner in the fourth before the Croation Cilic, who also has a very agreeable draw. "For now everything at the moment is going in the right direction", the Serbian star said on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Agnieszka Radwanska kept her preparations for the year's first Grand Slam on track with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 win over teenage American qualifier CiCi Bellis.

"With Roger, I always felt that he was so gifted and able to do so many things so comfortably that as long as he stayed healthy and driven and enjoyed what he was doing, there was no reason he couldn't claw his way back", adds Annacone.

Former World No 1 Azarenka hasn't played since Wimbledon past year.

"I don't want to be over-confident, but I'm very, very happy with how it went today".

Federer's four victories previous year over his old foe also means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.

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Doubt was cast over whether Djokovic would be fit to play in the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, when he withdrew from warm-up events in Abu Dhabi and Doha after feeling pain in the elbow. Referring to the final set of the thriller, which he won 6-3, he said: "It was an incredible final, an awesome moment for me in my life and it's great to be back here", as quoted by the Express.

"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt".

Aiava has had a big month, including winning a wildcard into her second grand slam, but it appears to be taking a toll with the youngster saying she needs some time out. Kyrgios is 17th seed and coming off a Brisbane International victory, while Barty is seeded at 18, having come from world No.271 at the start of previous year.

"I knew that I can not make it with only Futures so I had to step up my game and try to compete at a higher level", explains Maamoun. "When you combine all of those ingredients with the massive talent that is Roger Federer, you get 19 majors and a career that is just incredible".

There seems no escape from cumulative injury or sporadic ill-health on either the ATP or WTA Tours, as the seasons do not so much rage and subside but overlap from one minor crisis to another.

This championship is the first of the four tournaments that make up the Grand Slam and takes place every January.

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