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Nadal wants to start afresh at 2018 Australian Open

13 January 2018

They're all in the same half of the draw as defending champion Roger Federer, who a year ago returned from an extended injury time out to beat Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final and end a Grand Slam drought dating back to 2012.

The six-times champion, who last played competitively at Wimbledon in July, says he is still managing the injury, which has caused him to abbreviate his service action.

Rafael Nadal showed that talk of his demise had been exaggerated by winning the French and U.S. Open titles previous year although he faces a battle to repeat those feats without his lifelong coach and uncle Toni while also fighting familiar injury troubles.

It forced him to skip the lead-up Brisbane International this month, and he has only had a one-match workout at the exhibition Kooyong Classic in Melbourne ahead of the Grand Slam starting Monday.

"He won a couple Grand Slams".

"There are three or four details that I have changed", Djokovic said. That fifth set against Rafa was maybe the best set I've ever played.

Off the court, the 30-year-old Serbian said he enjoyed a closer-to-normal family life off the court, including being there when his wife, Jelena, gave birth to their second child — a daughter Tara in September.

Danger lurks at nearly every corner, with former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and a resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who beat Federer for the 2009 U.S. Open title, looming as threats before the quarter-finals.

Novak Djokovic
Nadal wants to start afresh at 2018 Australian Open

"Both Radek and Andre ... they spent a lot of hours analysing my serve".

"I know that if I get myself to desired level of performance - mental and physical - that I can actually have a good chance to go far in the tournament". Nadal is also returning from a lingering right knee problem and five-time finalist Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have already withdrawn.

The 14th seed added: "I still know what I'm capable of, and I believe in my own abilities to win against the best players in the world".

"It hasn't been 100 percent yet healed", Djokovic told reporters at Melbourne Park on Saturday.

"Even the first part of past year, I did struggle a lot with the performance", he admitted.

"We'll have to keep working on that because in my career there are two vital things, the serve and the return, where I start the point and where I have to attack so I don't have to run more than I need to".

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

Nadal wants to start afresh at 2018 Australian Open