Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal confirmed for 2017 Australian Open
Federer and Nadal are two of 198 players from the world's top 200 confirmed for the 2017 Australian Open.
While Federer required rehabilitation of the knee on which he had surgery, Nadal needed more time to fully recover from trouble with his left wrist. None of the Slams in 2016, barring the Australian Open, saw both of them playing at the same Major, which didn’t please their legions of fans.
All those eagerly waiting for the return of the duo popularly called ‘Fedal’ finally have a reason to feel delighted as both Federer and Nadal have now been confirmed for the upcoming Australian Open, scheduled to be played from 16-29 January, 2017.
The tennis icons, who combine for a staggering 31 Grand Slam titles, are two of 198 players from the world’s top 200 across the men’s and the women’s singles fields who are in the draw. Only two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and the 20th ranked Ivo Karlovic are missing from the elite list released by the organisers on Thursday.
Azarenka, who is expected to give birth at the end of this year, had earlier expressed her desire to make a comeback sometime in 2017.
Murray and Kerber top seeds
The singles field is headed by five-time runner-up Andy Murray and defending champion Angelique Kerber, who have usurped long-time World No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams respectively from the top spots.
Six-time winner Serena Williams too will be seen after a four-month hiatus. The American struggled with a shoulder injury that kept her out of all tournaments post the US Open. Seeded second, the 35-year-old will be gunning for a 23rd Grand Slam singles title that will put her just one Major shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Slams.
Just like Serena, Djokovic will also be chasing a slice of history as he aims to become the first man ever to hoist the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup seven times.
Federer and Nadal excited for Aussie summer: Tiley
The Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley has talked about the strong field headed by two brand new top seeds in a statement released on Thursday.
“We have an exceptionally strong field for Australian Open 2017, and it’s exciting to welcome two new world No.1s, and two new top seeds in Angie (Kerber) and Andy (Murray),” said Tiley.
He also went on to reveal that the Australian Open organisers have been constantly in touch with Federer and Nadal and said that both tennis stars are eager to be back on the court. While Federer has chosen the Hopman Cup as his season opener, Nadal will kick off his Australian summer by making a debut at the Brisbane International which also boasts of the likes of US Open winner Stan Wawrinka.
“We have been in regular contact with Roger (Federer) and Rafael (Nadal) and both are ready and excited for the Aussie summer, with Roger heading to Perth and Rafael to Brisbane for the first time.
“Like all the players, they can’t wait to get to Melbourne and start the year off well,” added Tiley.