The tennis community and sporting world yearns for another instalment in the Federer-Nadal rivalry but while form is temporary and class is permanent, a lack of preparation may rob the Australian public of another unforgettable event.
"The most important thing is to feel the conditions, to get comfortable", he said. "Tennis is full of variables every single week: temperature, humidity, racket tension, balls, court surface, court speed, and then because the sport is so much more physical, you have to train harder".
Graham Caygill: Novak Djokovic.
JT: Pablo Carreno Busta.
For Djokovic, his opening competitive match will be tricky against American lefty Donald Young. The fifth set was maybe the best set I ever played. After all Federer did not win a major until he was 22.
Now, under new rules by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), any Grand Slam player who withdraws after 1200 local time yesterday before the tournament draw will still receive 50 percent of first round prize money.
Thiem is projected to face rising young German star Alexander Zverev in the quarters of Djokovic's section of the draw.
Venus Williams, who lost the all-Williams final last year, has a tough opener against Belinda Bencic and is also in the same quarter as U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens.
Australian bad boy Bernard Tomic was fined a third of his £35,000 ($47,500) prize money for unsportsmanlike conduct at Wimbledon, after saying he felt "bored" and "couldn't care less" following a straight-sets defeat on day one. 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. He will not win the tournament, but he will likely leave Melbourne having surprised and charmed fans.
Will Federer defend his title? Her maiden grand slam title awaits. "I don't think there's anybody else that you could say is a favourite other than Roger at the moment". Grigor Dimitrov, a semifinalist here last year, is seeded third and six-time champion Novak Djokovic - coming back from a six-month injury layoff - is 14th.
Nadal leads in their head-to-heads by 23 to 15, and in Grand Slams by nine to three. The Spaniard will be followed by last year's champion and his long time rival on court and great friend of it, Roger Federer as the 2nd seed for the event.
Anastasija Sevastova has only made it to the second week once in Melbourne but the biggest factors will be Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber. Djokovic managed to produce a 30-8 record last season, but he wasn't the consistent, dominant player he was in the past, and there was a lot of up and down play despite the victories.