Roger Federer has no desire to revisit the last time he played John Millman at a major but insists he'll be ready for the home favourite at the Australian Open on Friday.

Federer made serene progress into round three in Melbourne with a 6-1 6-4 6-1 defeat of Filip Krajinovic and will now face Millman, a 6-4 7-5 6-3 victor over Hubert Hurkacz.

Their only previous grand slam meeting came at the 2018 US Open when the Australian won a round of 16 encounter in four sets in blistering heat in New York.

Asked if that match had pushed him further than any other physically, he said: "Yeah, definitely. I don't know anything remotely close. I was just happy it was over.

"I never had that [before]. I rather go back in time [and think I'd like to] play that match again. But I don't have that feeling about that match. I was just happy the US Open was over and I could focus.

"I think it was a combination of many things that went wrong for me on that day, plus the opponent was ready and tough as nails.

"I have no regrets. I tried everything in the match itself, it was just not meant to be that day. I hit the wall."

Conditions in Melbourne have been much kinder for Federer so far, both meteorologically and in terms of the draw.

The third seed was barely tested by first-round opponent Steve Johnson or Krajinovic, but rubbished suggestions that would leave him undercooked.

"I prefer this much more than being overcooked," said the Swiss.

"I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

Federer is likely to have to dig deeper against Millman, especially as he may be in the unusual position of not being the crowd favourite.

Millman has already suggested the match should be moved away from Rod Laver Arena due to the number of corporate fans that inhabit the main show court at Melbourne Park - a request that is likely to fall on deaf ears - but Federer is more than happy to play in a raucous atmosphere.

He said: "I'm always happy when the crowd gets involved.

"I don't choose which court I play on. I don't know if he was joking or if he was serious [about moving].

"You would think a match like this should be played on Rod Laver Arena maybe. I don't know if the other seeds have good match-ups as well.

"He knows Margaret Court Arena better [and] Melbourne Arena but I haven't thought about it.

"I figured this was always going to be on Rod Laver Arena but I'm ready to go anywhere, whatever it takes."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Roger Federer continued his perfect record in the Australian Open second round with an impressive win over Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday.

Federer moved into the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year by beating Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great has never lost before the third round at the year's first grand slam and he retained that record with another strong performance.

Federer quickly put Krajinovic on the back foot and while his level dropped slightly, the 20-time grand slam champion was in fine form to progress after one hour and 32 minutes.

He stamped his authority early, breaking in the second game, which featured a brilliant backhand pass down the line.

It was 4-0 after just 13 minutes as Federer produced a forehand winner to break again and take complete control of the contest and the first set was over soon after.

Federer broke again to begin the second set as his flawless display left Krajinovic struggling to find answers, while he produced a stunning cross-court forehand winner on the run in the fifth game.

But as Federer's incredibly high level started to drop, Krajinovic pounced to break back in the eighth game when the six-time Australian Open champion sent a backhand long.

Federer restored his lead in the next game when Krajinovic netted a backhand volley and made no mistake in serving out the second set.

For the third straight set, Federer broke in Krajinovic's first service game, handed the advantage following a double fault.

Krajinovic needed treatment on his right arm early in the third set, but that did little to slow Federer, who advanced to a meeting with John Millman.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Filip Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 42/14
Krajinovic – 22/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 14/0
Krajinovic – 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 7/14
Krajinovic – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 69
Krajinovic – 74

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 77/62
Krajinovic – 58/20

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 89
Krajinovic – 56

Novak Djokovic revealed he offered Filip Krajinovic some advice ahead of his Serbian countryman's Australian Open clash with Roger Federer.

Federer and Krajinovic will do battle on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, while Djokovic eased into the third round earlier in the day.

Djokovic said he had spoken to Krajinovic, 27, ahead of the second-round clash with the Swiss great.

"We spoke last night. I thought he fought well to win his opening-round match. He was very close to losing that match. He won in five sets. That was great for his confidence," he told a news conference after beating Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2.

"Obviously today is a completely different match-up against Roger. We did speak a little bit about things that he can do to be, I guess, his best self on the court. Again, it doesn't depend only on him.

"It depends how well Roger starts and how well Roger plays. It can be a very interesting match-up. I think Krajinovic is a very talented player and has been around the Tour for a while, knows Roger's game.

"It just depends on how it starts. It can be a long one. It can be a short one. It's going to be interesting to see."

Djokovic continued his fine start to 2020, winning an eighth straight singles match and setting up a clash with Yoshihito Nishioka.

The 16-time grand slam champion was particularly pleased with his serve after sending down 16 aces and not facing a break point against Ito.

"My serve was working extremely well in first round and second round. That's something I worked on in the off-season," Djokovic said.

"That's one of the priorities I guess of the training sessions, trying to get that I think advantage of winning a lot of easy points on the first serve.

"It has been paying off so far I think in the ATP Cup and here with the two matches."

Roger Federer's bid to win a record-equalling seventh Australian Open crown continues against Filip Krajinovic in the second round on Wednesday.

Federer trails Novak Djokovic's record haul of seven titles at Melbourne Park following last year's shock fourth-round exit.

The most successful men's player in history, 20-time grand slam champion Federer has not added to his major tally in two years.

However, the 38-year-old once again looms as a threat and we take a closer look at where the third seed is at ahead of a midweek encounter in Melbourne.

 

Form and results

Federer did not play a lead-up tournament but there were no signs of rust from the Swiss sensation in the opening round. The veteran produced a polished display against Steve Johnson, hitting 34 winners and 20 unforced errors on Monday.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2

Next up

Krajinovic awaits Federer after a gruelling opening to his campaign at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Serbian was on court for almost four hours as he outlasted Quentin Halys 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 4-6 7-5 on Court 22. He will not have much time to recover, with a daunting midweek showdown with an all-time great.

Draw

If, as expected, Federer sees off Krajinovic under the Rod Laver Arena lights, a third-round meeting with either John Millman or 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz is next. A clash with Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round could also be on the horizon.

What he said

"When you win it's all good. Or even when you make a semis and beyond, you know you're in good shape, plus you're just coming off the off-season so you have the confidence. You have practice, you know, flowing through your body, too. The problem is sometimes when you play too many matches and you don't have that practice block, in a way you're just playing to win, just trying to weasel your way to the next victory and you forget how to properly play tennis. So I think the Australian Open, it's nice if you play well, but there is no drama as if it doesn't go well for the rest of the season. It's worse if later in the season success is not there and you're missing that block of practice and you can't rely on it anymore because it's too far back."

Novak Djokovic vowed to "enjoy every moment" after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on an opening day that saw seeds Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric crash out.

Djokovic started the defence of his title with a battling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Losing his serve three times while dropping the third set and having to edge a close tie-break in the opener meant Djokovic spent longer than he would have hoped on court, but he relished the two-hour-and-16-minute encounter.

Asked about winning his 900th Tour-level match, the second seed said: "I'm obviously very proud of all the achievements, but at the same time I try to remind myself how grateful I am to be playing this sport at a high level at this stage of my career. 

"I can't take things for granted, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It's a New Year resolution, to enjoy more. It's easier said than done when you're on the court.

"Especially in my position, I'm expected to win all my matches, there's a lot of pressure and emotions involved. But I try to really enjoy it, the two and half hours spent on court were a lot of fun."


SHAPOVALOV AND CORIC FALL AT FIRST HURDLE

The biggest shock of the day saw number 13 seed Shapovalov fall to a four-set defeat against Hungarian world number 67 Marton Fucsovics.

Fucsovics won 7-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) in three hours and 13 minutes as the highly-rated Canadian crashed out.

Shapovalov lost his temper with the umpire when he was giving a code violation for racket abuse despite it not being damaged.

"I think that's a terrible call from the [umpire]," Shapovalov said. "The rule [according to] what I know is that if I break my racket, yeah you can code me, but you can't code me for slamming it.

"I'm not doing anything and it didn't impact anyone and the racket was still intact. He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and I think that's not the way it works."

Number 25 seed Coric was eliminated in straight sets by Sam Querrey. 

The American won 6-3 6-4 6-4 as a dreadful run for Coric, which has seen him win only one of his last 10 matches, went on.
 

FEDERER AND TSITSIPAS COAST THROUGH

Roger Federer progressed in comfortable fashion, the third seed seeing off Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in only 81 minutes.

Johnson only forced one break-point opportunity in the match against the 20-time grand slam and did not convert it.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion and a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year, got off to a smooth start, defeating Salvatore Caruso 6-0 6-2 6-3.

 

RAIN LEAVES MATCHES UNFINISHED

Inclement weather left a host of Monday's other first-round matches incomplete, with Reilly Opelka closing in on an upset against Fabio Fognini when play was suspended at 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 1-0.

Rising star Jannik Sinner has a 2-0 lead over Max Purcell with the third set level at 4-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut was a set up against Feliciano Lopez.

Milos Raonic is one game away from a first-round win, his match against Lorenzo Giustino all-but over with the Canadian 6-2 6-1 5-2 to the good.

Roger Federer hopes to set up his Australian Open campaign in the first three rounds after making an impressive start on Monday.

Despite not playing a lead-up tournament, the Swiss great looked in fine form in a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Steve Johnson on Rod Laver Arena.

Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, said the early rounds would be key after opting against competitive matches ahead of the year's first major.

"I just haven't played proper matches in many, many weeks, and a lot of guys, probably 95 per cent of the guys, are coming here with matches. I'm not one of those guys," he told a news conference.

"Now I have one. Best of five, too, which is even better. I think for me really the first three rounds are key to get going, to get used to the pressure, stay calm, when to save break point or 30-30 points or whatever it may be or just to stay calm if you're down a set and a break or whatever it might be.

"This is sort of the unknown that can be a little bit scary at times. But today there was none of that because I broke early each set and was able to get on a roll, play freely after that. And also felt I had margin.

"Anything I was doing I felt like I had the game under control. That might not be the case in the next round, so I just think I have to be careful.

"Round by round, point for point mentality. I know other guys that are playing extremely well right now so I think it's just important to stay very calm about things right now."

Federer produced a polished display against Johnson, hitting 34 winners and 20 unforced errors.

And, asked about the court speed, Federer said it was similar to last year at Melbourne Park.

"I think balls play fast when they are new, a ball change for a couple of games, depending on who you play, how long the rallies are right then," he said.

"But I'd say two to four games it can play faster. But the balls fluff up extremely quickly here when you do get into long rallies. And I feel night sessions or indoor or on a cool day like what we will see in the next week, actually play quite slow. It is what it is, you know.

"But I think it depends on how you play maybe also and how you manage your game and what kind of opponent you have, for all sort of playing styles, I guess."

Roger Federer produced a polished display in a first-round thrashing of Steve Johnson at the Australian Open on Monday.

The Swiss great opted against playing a lead-up tournament, but showed no signs of rustiness in a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Johnson at Rod Laver Arena.

Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, was in control throughout, with not even a first-set rain delay able to halt a strong performance.

A six-time winner in Melbourne, Federer had won his previous two meetings with Johnson in straight sets, and he made it three in a row.

Federer took early control against Johnson, racing out to a 3-0 lead before rain delayed play after the fifth game.

But, the brief pause did little to slow Federer, especially under the Rod Laver Arena roof.

He took the first set and grabbed a 4-0 lead in the second, another break to begin the third seeing him on his way to a convincing victory.

Federer will face either Filip Krajinovic or qualifier Quentin Halys in the second round.

The 108th edition of the Australian Open begins on Monday as the world's best tennis players battle it out at the first grand slam of 2020.

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka will return to defend the titles they won last year, adding to the event's storied history.

The pair will face stiff competition from stacked fields in the men's and women's draw as a host of players seek glory in Melbourne.

To whet your appetite for the forthcoming feast of tennis, here is a selection of the best Opta facts related to the Australian Open.

 

- The last three years have seen the 12 women's grand slam tournaments being won by 10 different players; only Simona Halep and Osaka have won twice in that span.

- Djokovic won his seventh Australian Open title in 2019, the most of any male player in the history of the tournament. He has won the event every time he has reached the semi-finals.

- Of the last 14 editions of the Australian Open, 12 have been won by either Djokovic (7) or Roger Federer (5) – Rafael Nadal (2009) and Stan Wawrinka (2014) are the only other winners in that period.

- Victoria Azarenka (2012, 2013), Serena Williams (2009, 2010) and Jennifer Capriati (2001, 2002) are the only women to have won successive titles at the Australian Open since 2000.

- Federer won his sixth Australian Open title in 2018, 14 years after his first win at the event; no player has won multiple Australian Open titles over a longer period in the Open Era. It is his last win in a grand slam tournament to date.

- Since 2005 only Williams (2010, 2015) and Azarenka (2013) have won the title at the Australian Open as the number one ranked player in the world.

- Williams has not won any of the last 11 grand slams, with her last victory coming at the Australian Open in 2017 when she was pregnant – this is the American's longest span without a major title.

- Petra Kvitova lost in the final of the Australian Open last year, the only time she went further than the quarter-finals in her last 19 grand slam appearances, since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

- Either Nadal or Andy Murray has been the runner-up in nine of the last 10 Australian Open men's finals, Murray losing five times and Nadal four. Marin Cilic in 2018 is the only other player to lose an Australian Open final in that span.

- The last time an Australian made it to the men's final at the Australian Open was Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and the last Australian to win the title was Mark Edmondson in 1976 (against fellow Australian John Newcombe).

Roger Federer begins his Australian Open campaign on Monday against a man he is yet to drop a set against.

The Swiss 20-time grand slam champion decided against playing a lead-up tournament ahead of the year's first major, where he faces Steve Johnson.

Despite the lack of competitive matches, it would still take a monumental upset to send Federer packing in the opening round.

We take a closer look at where the six-time champion in Melbourne is at ahead of the first round.

 

Form and results

Federer has been out of competitive action since the ATP Finals in November, when he suffered a semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 38-year-old did edge Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (8-6) in an exhibition set at the 'Rally for Relief' event on Wednesday.

First up

In contrast, his first-round opponent, Johnson, is coming off a Challenger Tour title win in Bendigo. A former world number 21, the American almost dropped out of the top 100 last year, but already has seven wins at Challenger level in 2020. Federer holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Johnson, but was pushed to two tie-break sets in their last meeting at Indian Wells in 2017. Federer's last first-round loss at a major was at the 2003 French Open, while he is 20-0 in the Australian Open first round.

Draw

Federer is in the bottom half of the draw and will face either Filip Krajinovic or qualifier Quentin Halys if he gets past Johnson. If results go by ranking, Hubert Hurkacz will await in the third round.

What he said

"I'm excited to play Steve. He's a good guy. I think with his old-school playing – big forehand, slice backhand, good serve – I think it's going to be a nice match for me, as well."

Daniil Medvedev accepts the 'Big Three' will be hard to stop at the Australian Open, but said he was gaining confidence from facing the all-time greats.

After a superb 2019 that included a run to the US Open final, Medvedev is considered one of the contenders in Melbourne, where the year's first grand slam starts on Monday.

But 14 of the past 16 Australian Opens have been won by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, and the trio are again the favourites.

Medvedev, the fourth seed who will face Frances Tiafoe in a tricky opener, said regularly facing the greats gave him confidence.

"I think playing against them from time to time, especially the further you go in the big tournaments, the more chances you have to play them," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"The more times you play them, the more you know where you are comparing to them. For example, match in ATP Cup, Novak was kind of all over me. I managed to get back, almost win the match. I mean, he still won it. They won the whole ATP Cup. But I felt I was really close.

"Matches like this give you confidence to see that you're able to do it, but it's really tough."

Medvedev's run to the final at Flushing Meadows was the first time he had been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam.

The Russian, 23, said he was eyeing at least the quarter-finals in Melbourne this year.

"It's always tough to answer. Good Australian Open is to win it, but if you ask me what I'm going to be happy about, it always depends of course who you play, who you lose to," Medvedev said.

"But I would say I will be happy with quarters. As I always say, for me the first goal is to win it step by step.

"If I'm in quarters, I'm not going to be there and say, 'Okay, I've done my goal, it's enough for this tournament.'

"Any tournament I play, I want to win it. But quarters will be satisfying, I would say."

Defending champion Novak Djokovic could meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, while Venus Williams has again been pitted against Coco Gauff.

Gauff produced one of 2019's most remarkable results when she beat five-time Wimbledon champion Williams in the first round at the All England club, and the 15-year-old will again face her compatriot in the opening round of 2020's first major.

Serena Williams starts her latest quest for a 24th grand slam singles title against another teenager, Anastasia Potapova, and she could be on for a quarter-final against defending champion Naomi Osaka, who plays Marie Bouzkova in round one.

Ashleigh Barty, who heads into her home slam at the top of the WTA rankings, begins her campaign against Lesia Tsurenko and could meet last year's runner-up Petra Kvitova in the last eight.

Fourth seed Simona Halep takes on Jennifer Brady in round one, with Maria Sharapova facing a difficult opener against Donna Vekic and second seed Karolina Pliskova meeting Kristina Mladenovic.

World number two Djokovic faces a tough start to his title defence in Melbourne against Jan-Lennard Struff, who climbed 20 places in the ATP rankings between January 2019 and this year.

Federer, seeking his 21st grand slam title and seventh in Australia, begins against American Steve Johnson and could face a round-of-16 match with Grigor Dimitrov, who won their last meeting at the quarter-final stage of the US Open.

Djokovic is on course to meet Federer in the semis but Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has beaten the Serbian twice in four meetings, may lie in wait first at the quarter-final stage.

World number one Rafael Nadal meets Hugo Dellien in the first round and could face home favourite Nick Kyrgios in round four.

Dominic Thiem could await Nadal in the quarter-finals, the Austrian beginning his quest for a maiden grand slam triumph against Adrian Mannarino.

World number four Daniil Medvedev has a difficult opening match against Frances Tiafoe, with Alexander Zverev a possible last-eight opponent.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have made a joint donation of 250,000 Australian dollars to the bushfire relief fund.

World number one Nadal announced the decision while taking part in the star-studded Rally4Relief event, which also included the likes of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

"Talking with Roger we decided to give 250,000 Australian dollars to the fire relief together," Nadal said when he was addressing the crowd.

"Hopefully that keeps inspiring the people to support this terrible disaster we are going through and helps to recover all the things that we need."

Players have announced a range of ways to support the bushfire relief efforts ever since Nick Kyrgios declared he would pay $200 for every ace he hits during the Australian summer, as well as calling on Tennis Australia to organise Wednesday's event.

Nadal, Federer and the other players involved took part in a series of matches and challenges while wearing a microphone to entertain the Melbourne crowd.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Coco Gauff and Petra Kvitova all took part.

Williams donated all of her Auckland Open winner's earnings and each of the dresses she had worn during the tournament after her victory in New Zealand last week, while Djokovic has also made a contribution.

The event came after Australian Open organisers imposed a two-hour delay on the start of qualifying matches due to the "very poor" air quality.

Bushfires across Australia have resulted in the deaths of at least 28 people, while an estimated 10 million hectares of land has been burned since July 1.

The Rally4Relief helped the overall fund reach just under $5million

Federer said: "Incredible number, so much needed, hope it keeps going. The Australian Open is only just around the corner now and hopefully much more money will come together. This was definitely an incredible kick off.

"This country all comes together for other people and that is a true inspiration for other countries around the world who are watching this now."

Novak Djokovic believes there is no clear favourite for the men's singles at the Australian Open and says the 'big three' will be challenged at the opening slam of the year.

The last 12 majors have been shared between Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, with Stan Wawrinka the last man other than the trio to win a slam at the 2016 US Open.

Djokovic impressed during the inaugural ATP Cup last week, scoring wins over Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Kevin Anderson en route to helping Serbia to glory.

The 16-time slam winner accepts the usual suspects will be considered favourites in Melbourne, but tipped the likes of Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem to challenge.

"I think it's really open, the Australian Open or any other slam," Djokovic told reporters.

"I don't think there are really clear favourites. You have obviously Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and everything and the rankings that we get to be probably named the top three favourites.

"But then you have Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem that are really showing some amazing tennis.

"They showed that they matured on the big stage, that they can challenge the best players in the world and win against them.

"So, everybody keeps on talking about a NextGen player winning a slam. It seems like it's getting closer. Hopefully not this year. We'll see."

While Djokovic and Nadal have geared up for the Australian Open by playing the ATP Cup, helping Serbia and Spain to the final respectively, Federer opted to stay home and train in his native Switzerland.

Federer insists he has no fitness concerns despite not playing a competitive match since November.

"I've trained long and hard in the off-season and I didn't have any setbacks, which is crucial," Federer said.

On the continued success he, Djokovic and Nadal have enjoyed, Federer added: "I'm aware that at 38 I shouldn't be the favourite, it should be someone probably in their 20s, but the three of us have been able to stay as the favourites, which is great for us.

"Both guys are already showing great signs. I was watching a little bit of their ATP Cup match and thought that was a great match.

"Both guys, injury free, are always tough to beat."

Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Roger Federer are among the players who will participate in a pre-Australian Open exhibition match to raise funds for bushfire relief efforts.

The legendary trio will feature in the AO Rally for Relief at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday January 15.

Huge blazes have left 26 people dead and killed millions of animals, while also destroying thousands of homes in Australia.

The event in Melbourne next week will form part of the Aces for Bushfire Relief program, launched by Tennis Australia last week.

"This unprecedented bushfire crisis is devastating people, properties, communities, livestock and animals across the country and our hearts go out to all those affected,” Tennis Australia chief executive and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
 
"We felt it was vital we use all our events across the summer to make a meaningful contribution to help these people and communities rebuild their lives.

"The response from the tennis community – our players, clubs, partners and international tennis bodies – has been overwhelming and it’s wonderful to see everyone pull together.

"The world's top players, boasting many grand slam titles between them, have committed to AO Rally for Relief and we look forward to announcing the line-up in the coming days.

"The players are keen to be involved - we’ve had a tremendous response from them and they are keen to help.  
 
"AO Rally for Relief promises to be an incredible night of tennis and entertainment, as well as a wonderful opportunity to bring together the best of our sport for this important cause."

Many male and female players have pledged to donate funds for those affected by the bushfire crisis for every serve they hit, while Simona Halep will pay $200.every time she gives coach Darren Cahill a hard time during her matches.

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