Rafael Nadal gearing up for Australian Open

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"Is the first time I am here without playing an official match in my career".

"I really hope to be ready". That's it. Everything that he wants to do with me, I am happy with, no?

Nadal's uncle Toni Nadal has been with the Spanish ever since he began to play tennis but this Australian Open will be slightly different.

He is top-seeded at Melbourne Park for the fourth time in his career, searching for his second Australian title.

"Improving my grand slam results from last year was definitely my goal for this year", he said ahead of Monday's start to the Melbourne Park major.

The Spaniard withdrew from tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane after beginning his preparations for 2018 later than usual amid reports he was still struggling with a knee injury.

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.

"I mean, Roger and Rafa's year last year has shown age is just a number, especially in Roger's case", Djokovic said Saturday in his pre-tournament news conference.

"The correction and improvements to the serve are allowing me to be more efficient and spend less energy", he said.

"I thought my game wasn't going to be good enough for that day and it was".

Britain's sole representative Kyle Edmund will face big-serving US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round.

The six time Australian Open victor enlisted the help of tennis great Andre Agassi and power hitter Andy Roddick, to find a way to help release the "load from the elbow".

Not only can he clinch a 17th Grand Slam in Melbourne, but he also has the opportunity to join Roy Emerson and Rod Laver as only the third man in the Open era to win each of the four Grand Slams twice.

In a women's field notably missing 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there appear to be many chances of a new Australian Open champion this year.

"Everyone starts from zero".

Djokovic cut last season short due to an elbow injury which forced the former world number one to retire from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych. "In terms of professional things, I spoke to him few days ago, speaking about how the life going, how the tennis going".

Toni Nadal is now coaching at the Rafael Nadal Academy, with his nephew under the tutelage of Carlos Moya.

"He love me. I love him". If he have something to tell me, he call me and tell me.

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