Switzerland's Roger Federer holds the Men's singles trophy as he participates in the official draw ceremony ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. REUTERS/David Gray
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Roger Federer found himself in a slightly awkward position before the Australian Open draw.A few minutes later when the formalities were completed, Federer found out how difficult defending his title could be after landing in the same half as six-time champion Novak Djokovic.Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the final here last year on his return from six months on the sidelines and is seeded No. 2 as he bids for a 20th Grand Slam singles title.Djokovic had a contrasting 2017, starting at No. 2 but losing in a second-round upset at the Australian Open and not playing again after Wimbledon. It was the first year since 2009 that Djokovic didn't reach at least one Grand Slam final. Sharapova, who won the 2008 Australian title and reached three other finals at Melbourne Park, missed last year's tournament during a 15-month suspension after a failed doping test here in 2016 .
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