Rafael Nadal wants to take on every opponent but has refused to name the player who would prove to be the toughest draw at the Australian Open, which begins on 15 January. The Spaniard is hoping to be at his best for the tournament and wants to keep all expectations aside when he takes on Estrella Burgos in the first round.
Roger Federer has been termed the early favourite going into Melbourne following his exploits last year, where he defeated Nadal in the finals in a five-set thriller. Both players went on to have an impressive year and will be looking to repeat their performance in 2018 where they will face competition from the other big hitters who missed the majority of last year through injury.
Both Federer and Nadal came back from a tumultuous 2016 after missing major parts of the season through injury. In 2017 they scripted a memorable comeback as the duo claimed two Slams each to end the year as the two top-ranked players of the season.
Nadal won the French Open and the US Open, while the Swiss ace took his tally to 19 with the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The duo picked up a total of 13 titles between them and rolled back the years as the new generation failed to have an impact.
Nadal and Federer will be joined by the likes of Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka who have recovered from setbacks that ended their 2017 early. The Serb is back fit after a long drawn elbow injury while Wawrinka last featured at Wimbledon in July and had to wrap up his season without much joy.
The Spaniard is planning to have the same impact he had in 2017 amid the increased competition but has refused to name the players who will pose the toughest test.
"I don't think about that. I think about first round I play against Estrella Burgos. I go day by day as I always did. Is going to be the first official match of the year. Don't make sense to think farther than that," he told the Australian Open's official website when asked to name his toughest opponent.
"I am looking to have a good practice this afternoon, good practice tomorrow, and be ready for Monday. That's my goal. And let's see. Important for me is beginning of the tournament this year."