By Dave Worsley
The draw for the first Grand Slam of the year has just been completed and most interest centres on the two over 30-year-old veterans who shared the biggest titles of all last year.
It's been 48 Grand Slams won between Federer (18), Nadal (16), Novak Djokovic (12), Andy Murray (3) and Stan Wawrinka (3) since the beginning of 2004. Add in Federer's 2003 Wimbledon triumph and the domination is complete. Only four other players won Slam titles; Gaston Gaudio, Marat Safin, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic during that time period.
Murray is out of the Open with a hip injurty injury, while Djokovic and Wawrinka are still in doubt with injuries.
Perhaps Nadal (under a slight injury cloud) and Federer should be put in the final already and the early rounds can be cancelled.
Five-time Aussie Open champ Djokovic is seeded 14th and plays Donald Young in the first round, however, his journey gets harder from there with a possible fourth-round clash against Alexander Zverev, then either Dominic Thiem or Wawrinka and maybe Federer, David Goffin or del Potro in the semi-finals, sounds easy.
At the top end of the draw 2009 champion Nadal has a good run lined up with potentially sixth seed Cilic in the quarters and either the real outsider for the tournament, Grigor Dimitrov or Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals.
Federer's big concern would be against del Potro in the quarters. But injury has so often been a problem for the big Argentine.
So maybe Nadal versus Federer in the final isn't so much of a long shot after all?
The big features of the women's draw is that the top seed and world No.1, Simona Halep still hasn't won a Grand Slam title. In fact the world No.2, Caroline Wozniacki hasn't won a Slam either. And of course the return of Maria Sharapova who has five Grand Slams to her name, but it was Melbourne two years ago where Sharapova was forced to withdraw from the Open and subsequently banned for from the game for 15 months for doping.
Overall the women's draw is easiest if you throw 128 names up in the air and see which one lands the right way. It's open and no one is a standout.
Halep is in the same quarter as Petra Kvitova, Jo Konta and Karolina Pliskova with Sharapova, the 2008 winner potentially up against the 2016 champ Angelique Kerber in the third round and Wimbledon champs Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. Pick a finalist from all of that.
The bottom half of the draw has Wozniacki, Venus Williams, Coco Vandeweghe and Jelena Ostapenko, Julia Goerges and unheralded fourth seed Elina Svitolina as the main names who could come through.