What was more concerning, albeit in an exhibition, was his performance against retired 36-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals of the event - first to 10 points - having survived match points against the Australian.
The tennis community and sporting world yearns for another instalment in the Federer-Nadal rivalry but while form is temporary and class is permanent, a lack of preparation may rob the Australian public of another unforgettable event.
Federer though is heading into the season's first Grand Slam with a lot of confidence after leading Switzerland to season-opening Hopman Cup earlier this year.
The world No. 19 will play in her first home WTA final today after defeating compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Sydney International. "I thought I had everything under control but then after that first set, everything kind of slipped away from me", Dimitrov said. Anything can happen. It's a Grand Slam.
"I personally didn't know what's going to happen". Nadal will open against Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic.
ESPN analyst and former world No. 1 Chris Evert said Federer's experience and smooth style of play, which has left him relatively injury-free, set him apart from the field.
However, the eight-time Grand Slam champion has managed to board a flight to Melbourne and will link up with Djokovic and head coach Radek Stepanek ahead of the first Slam of the year. But he has already had a rough start to the season - pulling out of the Qatar Open semi-final with flu, losing to Novak Djokovic at Kooyong before pulling out as with the same virus, disrupting the world number five's build-up to the Australian Open.
Nadal would open his second week against John Isner or Diego Schwartzman, then in the quarters he is set to face Marin Cilic or Gilles Muller.
"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt".
Williams' quarter also includes fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina and 13th-seeded Sloane Stephens, who won last year's U.S. Open but has lost all seven matches she's played since.
By winning the French and US Open titles last year, Rafael Nadal showed that talk of his demise had been exaggerated. "I'll be fine for the Open".
Nick Kyrgios of Australia will be the highest seed amongst the Australians after being seeded 14th.
All eyes will be on fourth seed Alexander Zverev after the 20-year-old German's remarkable run (five titles, including two Masters 1000 crowns) in 2017.
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