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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

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.

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.


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