Australian Open 2018 draw: Men's and women's brackets announced

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The Swiss marvel, chasing a sixth Australian Open crown, could also face big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the fourth round in the bottom half of the men's draw.

Slovenian Aljaz Bedene is defending champion Federer's first task on Rod Laver Arena for 2018.

In men's list Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Jack Sock, Stan Wawrinka, Pablo Carreno Busta completes the top ten.

"So (it was) a huge surprise, especially after the six months I had off, and what a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year".

"It's great to be back".

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Six-times Melbourne Park champion Djokovic, seeded 14th after missing the back end of last season with an elbow injury, will take on American lefthander Donald Young in his first match with mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils looming in round two.

China's Zhang Shuai was not as lucky, drawing 2017 US Open Champ Sloane Stephens as she attempts to recreate the success of 2016 when she made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Nowhere was that more evident than previous year when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - supposedly past their best - triumphed to make the final, Federer eventually running out the victor in five sets.

Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Victoria Azarenka are all big-name players who won't be participating in the Australian Open this year.

Women's top seed Simona Halep of Romania faces Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the first round, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki starting out against Halep's compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.

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Federer took his Grand Slam tally to 19 after extended rest breaks and Nadal, who enters his 18th season on the ATP tour, has also benefitted from carefully picking tournaments to preserve his fitness.

An unlikely victor at Melbourne Park in 2017 before going on to capture Wimbledon, the evergreen 36-year-old - who enjoyed a renaissance last season having been struck down by injuries in 2016 - is trusting his tried and tested preparation, having featured at the Hopman Cup in Perth just like he did last year.

Wawrinka, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian title, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first-round Wimbledon loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev in July. "I had a great four to six weeks of tennis training, and many months before that to get myself ready for the training".

"The boys are young and one of them was watching me at the Hopman Cup last week and he said: 'I can do what Papa can, I can play tennis too'".

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