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THE FINISH LINE

Storylines abound for the Australian Open

With some top players out and others racing against the clock to be fit, opportunities are ripe for Federer's 20th Major, those chasing a first Grand Slam, and a potentially historic run for Venus

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Despite being seeded second to Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer (above) will start the 2018 Australian Open tournament as the favourite, with a very realistic chance of adding a 20th Grand Slam title to his illustrious tally.

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Venus Williams, at 37, is currently enjoying a career renaissance - she reached two Grand Slam finals and returned to the top 5 in 2017.

And finally, the wait for professional tennis's first Grand Slam of the year is over, well almost.

In the weeks leading up to the Australian Open (Jan 15-28) in Melbourne, speculation among fans over how many of the top players would make the "Happy Slam" has been rife.

Those

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