Osaka's compatriot and former U.S. Open finalist, Kei Nishikori, has had a good run in the leadup to the Australian Open and overcame Daniil Medvedev in the Brisbane International final on Sunday for his first ATP title in almost three years.
Serena Williams has adopted a low profile ahead of the Australian Open, but rival players admit the American's shadow looms large in Melbourne as she eyes a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown.
Andy Murray will play what could be the final match of his career when the Australian Open begins in Melbourne on Monday.
Tracey Crouch, the United Kingdom sports minister when Sir Andy claimed his second Wimbledon title in 2016, said she was "sorry" to hear of his retirement. And who will be the player to knock him out?
"I think it would be bad if I changed in, like, three months", the 21-year-old said, brimming with smile. That title belongs to Novak Djokovic, who barnstormed his way through the second half of 2018, winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. "I think you also need a little bit of luck".
On Friday, Federer's frequent foe Andy Murray announced that he would soon be ending his career after failing to adequately recover from a hip injury which has stymied his progress since 2017 - and Federer says that he hopes to avoid a similar fate.
Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer met Sir Andy when he was given the freedom of the city in 2014, and said he was "very nice" and "unassuming". "'I would have loved to have played him when he was in his prime as I am now, it would maybe have been a much more competitive match".
"It's a tough one, but one down the road he can look back on and be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved".
Murray is scheduled to play No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday at Melbourne Arena, the third of the show courts. I always tell him: 'Dude, you're so much better than Djokovic, you should have a way better career. "I don't know if it's ever going to get better than that, because that was it for me". He can play well in fast courts.
"And I think she's fitter now".
"I've been feeling good on the practice courts this week and missing Sydney has been positive for my fitness and my game".
"I wasn't, no. To be honest, I wasn't", top-ranked Djokovic said. "I can't believe it's already been a year".
"I feel like it's just leveling that out is one of my biggest goals I had during the off-season".
What few knew as her season drew to a close was that the indefatigable Dane had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease that can cause swelling and pain in the joints.
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