The Australian Open: Contenders v pretenders to win the tournament

The Swiss legend, who starts as favourite to win his 20th Grand Slam title, has been handed a tough draw as he could face either 22nd seed Milos Raonic or 13th seed Sam Querrey as early as in the fourth round.

Both Federer and Nadal have tipped Zverev to become a future champion, but the world No 4 admitted himself that an improvement is needed if he wants to claim a maiden major.

Roger Federer returns to defend his title while Serena Williams will be in Florida with her baby girl. But what a pleasure to be here on Margaret Court Arena.

It is only now, as the haze clears over the wreckage of the 2017 season during which many players crumbled with injury, coupled with the slow realisation that Federer and Nadal may be unable to repeat last year's exploits, that people seem to realise Djokovic's worth. This argument in turn spurs questions about whether women should play best-of-five matches at the Slams, just like the men.

Lying in wait on his half of the draw are potential match ups against fellow Swiss, and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils, Juan Martin del Potro, and six-time champ Novak Djokovic.

Six-times Melbourne Park champion Djokovic, seeded 14th after missing the back end of last season with an elbow injury, will take on American lefthander Donald Young in his first match with mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils looming in round two.

Young gun Zverev had little luck in his first Australian Open draw as a top five seed with either Wawrinka, who plays Ricardas Berankis, or Novak Djokovic potentially standing in his path in the quarter-finals.

So maybe Nadal versus Federer in the final isn't so much of a long shot after all?

Djokovic had a contrasting 2017, starting at No. 2 but losing in a second-round upset at the Australian Open and not playing again after Wimbledon. On the men's side this revolves around injuries, with Nadal and Djokovic approaching the slam with injuries that make them doubts for not just the second week, but for appearing at the tournament at all, whilst Andy Murray was forced to withdraw following a recurrence of the hip injury that so plagued him past year.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded ninth in Melbourne, will take on unseeded Richard Berankis in the first round.

In the women's section, Romanian Simona Halep will be the top seed for the event and will look to change her horrendous past record down under, having never gone beyond the quarter finals in her career.

Federer defeated Nadal in a memorable five-set final previous year to win his 18th grand slam title, before later triumphing at Wimbledon.

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. "I'm just going to go out there, try to weather the storm, and try to play my game", De Minaur said.

"The drive, I still have it".