Norrie, the sixth seed, came through his first-round match on Wednesday but was well beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Australian John-Patrick Smith. At the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, one can even witness the live restoration of this most stolen artwork of all time. He has also had to overcome top-5 and top-10 players 22.63% and 32.14% of the time, respectively.
So dominant was Djokovic since the loss to Nadal at the 2013 US Open that he outclassed the Spaniard 11 times in the next 13 meetings.
On the women's side, Halep might have to tame several power-hitters if she plans on making it through her quarter of the draw. In recent years women's tennis has become incredibly unpredictable, with there being at least ten serious contenders for every grand slam.
19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is placed as second seed while Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Germany's Alexander Zverev have been named third and fourth seed, respectively, the Daily Express reported. If they are fully fit, Djokovic and Wawrinka only add further competition and excitement to a packed field. The two modern day greats who squared off in an epic in last year's final will once again have an opportunity to add another chapter to their famous FEDAL rivalry. Known for the home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, today it is also known as the best place to savour the world-famous Belgian waffles, as well as the home of a vibrant fashion and entertainment industry. Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina round out the top four.
"Possibly, but this time we're a long way away in the draw", he added.
It's remarkable that a 36-year-old is the pre-tournament favourite at a Major.
Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, is seeded 14 since his ranking slipped due to his six-month injury hiatus.
THE summer of tennis has already delivered some incredible highlights. He will play his first official tournament since 2017 Wimbledon, when he retired against Tomas Berdych in the quarters.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded ninth in Melbourne, will take on unseeded Richard Berankis in the first round.
'Unfortunately I had a snowboarding accident over the Christmas break and haven't quite recovered enough to fly out to Australia this year, ' he said at the time.
"But I've arrived in plenty of time". And of course there are all the health concerns, like with Nadal's knees and Djokovic's elbow.
The women's draw was going to be headlined by the return to tennis for Serena Williams, who won last year's tournament while pregnant. This actually could be a bit of a statistical exaggeration because a player's rise is gradual and steady and not a series of ups and downs. "But when he's on, he's on, and he's really difficult to beat".
Ostapenko, Ashleigh Barty, Daria Kasatkina, Donna Vekic, CiCi Bellis, Katerina Siniakova, Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic - all are aged 21 or under and could easily make a deep run into week two.