Given that few in the sport would have predicted this resurgence by the legendary veterans, I perhaps risk embarrassment by attempting to preview and predict this year's tournament.
The women's draw delivered a more favourable result for Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, the two Britons who earned direct entry into the tournament.
The Australian Open will begin on January 15.
Players will also be able to claim 50 percent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive designed to allow a replacement to play instead.
"If you really need it, do it for the finals, the semifinals, but this is unnecessary for the guys", she said.
Federer, who shocked himself and everyone else by reaching the 2017 final after seven months out injured - and defied all logic when he came from 3-1 down in the fifth set to beat Nadal - will start as the favourite but it is still asking a lot of him to go through seven best-of-five matches unbeaten.
But now it is time for the main course.
The list of absentees including the likes of current Australian Open champion Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray caused tennis fans all over to let out a huge sigh of disappointment.
Goffin enjoyed a strong finish to 2017, reaching the decider of the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup final with Belgium.
A seventh title in Melbourne would see Djokovic become the outright most successful male at the Australian Open - moving beyond Roy Emerson's haul of six crowns - but Becker expects Federer to move level with the duo instead.
The projected women's quarterfinals include Simona Halep vs. Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza vs. Caroline Garcia, Venus Williams vs. Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapoenko vs. Caroline Wozniacki.
"Roger is proving that age is just a number and if you look after your body and mind, you're fresh, you're inspired and you're motivated, you have a balanced life, that's what happens".
Raonic, ranked 22nd in Melbourne, takes on Slovakia's Lukas Lacko on Sunday in a first-round match. At the Melbourne Park, that trend might continue in 2018.
Nadal isn't projected to run into any significant opposition until the third round, in which he could face No. 28 Damir Dzumhur.
Djokovic lost only once at the Australian Open between 2011 and last year, when he suffered a shock second-round defeat to Denis Istomin.
Australian breakout star Ash Barty will be leading the Australian hopes after being seeded 18th.
Will the real Next Gen please stand up?
Novak Djokovic and Donald Young meet in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.
But that has not been the case for this generation of stars. has won the Aussie six times - which accounts for half of his Slam total.
Considering the level of difficulty he has had to cope with, it is all the more astonishing.
1 Rafael Nadal continued his preparations for the Australian Open yesterday with a surprise practice match against Austrian Dominic Thiem. Even though she withdrew this season, without that event as a staple in her schedule, she wouldn't be vying for the all-time singles Grand Slam record.
"Also I got a great opponent - No. 5 in the world".
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