Djokovic, the six-time champion and victor of 12 grand slam titles, has slumped to No.14 in the rankings and is pleased just to be here. "I think it's going to be helpful again for me this year because the court plays exactly the same in Perth and here in Melbourne", he said. "I had all these great five-setters and, at the end, the epic match against Rafa. The club in Kooyong is great, but at the same time the conditions of play are completely different from here", he explained.
A string of local hopes were also dealt hard draws; 17-year-old Destanee Aiava will face world number one Simona Halep while fellow teenager Alex De Minaur, who has made the semi-finals at both the Brisbane and Sydney Internationals, will play Tomas Berdych.
"What a comeback it was and it was definitely the highlight of the year".
Simona Halep will sport her "lucky" red dress and Caroline Wozniacki says she is playing better than ever as both aim for a first Grand Slam victory when the Australian Open starts on Monday.
Back in 2009, it was the giant Argentinian who many expected to go on to dominate the game after lifting the US Open trophy. Britain's world number nine Johanna Konta could figure despite a stuttering start to the season.
"I've showed on multiple occasions over the year that I can play and beat the best guys in the world", Zverev said. "So that's the good news".
Having not played competitively since a knee problem flared up, there are concerns as to whether the Spaniard will be able to perform well in Melbourne, with many picking current defending champion Federer as the favourite. Expectations have never been modest for the talented Kyrgios and they've only been cranked up with his Brisbane International triumph.
The 2018 Australian Open kicks off tomorrow with World No.1 Rafael Nadal launching his bid to win his second Australian Open title tomorrow night.
And he reappears at Melbourne Park in a totally different context to 2017.
With so few matches under his belt ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam, he asked organisers if they could do him a special favour, and they obliged.
There is a sneaky feeling that Federer, who is in good form by his showing at the Hopman Cup, where he helped Switzerland overcome Germany and he is also fully fit, could snag a sixth Australian Open crown come January 28. "But I feel good". She could face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarters.
But Federer himself believes a 36 year old like him should not be the favourite to win a Grand Slam.
Sloane Stephens hasn't won a match in the seven she's played since winning her first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open last September.
In the last two years at Grand Slams, whenever Serena Williams has been absent, an unknown has thrown their hats in the ring. I still have a lot of work to do physically and also tennis-wise to be to my top level. "Everything at the moment is going in the right direction".