14 Enero, 2018
Australian Open men's singles trophy - the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup - and the women's singles trophy - the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup - on display ahead of the 2018 draw.
Federer, who is present at Thursday's draw, will open his title defence against Slovenian world No 51 Aljaz Bedene.
Last season gave renewed hope that Dimitrov might still blossom into the Grand Slam champion he seemed set to become as an extravagantly-talented junior.
The Spaniard took on Dominic Thiem in a surprise clash on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.
"The trend of 30 somethings thriving in today's tennis landscape doesn't end with Roger (Federer), Rafa (Rafael Nadal), and the Williams sisters. He's a friend of mine and it's great to play him", he said.
19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is placed as second seed while Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Germany's Alexander Zverev have been named third and fourth seed, respectively, the Daily Express reported.
Of course the solution to the guaranteeing a qualifying spot is to improve one's ranking, as the cut off for entry is still a modest 216 this year. "That's a great start to the year for him and he's definitely a contender now".
Few people would disagree that playing five-setters, especially for the players who tend to go deep at the majors, does the joints, ligaments and muscles no favors. As for the men's draw I am going to give Juan Martin del Potro the 'dark horse' label.
Flanders, the northern region of Belgium and the home of the Flemish Masters, remains one of the world's most culturally sophisticated regions.
In 2017, we saw two first-time Major-winners - Ostapenko at the French Open and Sloane Stephens at the US Open.
The British No3 will face Dutchwoman Bibiane Schoofs in the second round with three victories needed for a place in the main draw. He could meet Nick Kyrgios in a fourth-round blockbuster, which would be a rematch of their Brisbane semi-final last week, won by the gifted but combustible Aussie.
The evergreen Swiss was a popular but unlikely winner upon his return from injury when he defeated Rafael Nadal in last year's final to claim his 18th grand slam title, before going on to triumph at Wimbledon in July.
This was Nadal's first match in a while.
Six-time champion Djokovic has a shot at surpassing Roy Emerson to become the only male player with seven Australian Open titles in tennis history.
"I think he's actually a really nice guy", Federer told Channel Nine when asked about the mercurial 22-year-old.
Will the real Next Gen please stand up?
Both Djokovic and Wawrinka have not played a competitive match since Wimbledon of last year and have spent the last six months in recovery.
Bouchard, who has fallen on tough times in recent years and comes into Melbourne ranked 81st, faces France's Oceane Dodin in the first round. Dominic Thiem, the fifth seed, tackles Guido Pella. "But when he's on, he's on, and he's really difficult to beat".
Johnson, a semfinalist in Auckland last year, looked on target for an easy win when he swept through the first set against Bautista Agut in 35 minutes. She could face a daunting test in the third round from either Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, or Maria Sharapova, the 2008 winner.