"I wake up and can't lift my hands over my head". Wozniacki proved she can still compete by winning in Beijing in October but whether she can cope with the gruelling two-week slog of a Grand Slam remains to be seen, and she was bundled out of the Auckland Classic last week in round two.
She arrives ranked three believing she can control her condition.
But since winning a fourth Wimbledon in July the Serb rose inexorably back to number one by losing only three further matches - one of which was to Zverev at the ATP Finals. Halep, who is without a coach since Australian Darren Cahill left for family reasons, will expect her back to hold up after a herniated disk curtailed her 2018 season.
"When you have a target on your back it's not easy because everyone wants to play their best against you and beat you", she said.More news: Is it too late to get a flu shot?
Roger Federer is the favourite to win Australian Open.
"Osaka shines" The 21-year-old Osaka backed up her US Open win by riding a wave of fanatical home support to reach the final of the Pan-Pacific Open in Tokyo without dropping a set. A second Australian Open title will be a ideal birthday gift for world number two Angelique Kerber, who turns 31 in the first week of the tournament.
"She is unbelievably good with the volley - in this more aggressive, more daring game".
The popular 21-year-old's US Open triumph was overshadowed by Serena Williams' tantrum in the final at Flushing Meadows but Osaka has the opportunity in Melbourne to demonstrate she can withstand the spotlight of being the new standard bearer for tennis in Japan, Asia and the next generation of women.More news: Tim Cook makes 300 times more than average Apple employee - company’s filing
In 2019, it appears the Australian Open will (if briefly) replace rackets for rocket launchers in a $700,750 (500,000 AUD) Fortnite Tournament.
Australians would love to see a home victor and Kyrgios may be their best hope but, like most tennis fans, they never know quite what to make of his maverick talent. "I'm enjoying every minute", said the Dane at Thursday's draw, while paying tribute to Williams. "There is a certain degree of pressure, but it's from myself".
The women's draw looks more open even with Serena Williams, the most dominant force in the sport, back and chasing a 24th grand slam singles title to tie Margaret Court's all-time record.
He retired in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic a year ago in Melbourne and suffered yet another knee injury that forced him out of the US Open semi-finals before he had ankle surgery in November.More news: The Sopranos' David Chase May Have Revealed Tony's Fate
Williams missed her first chance to match Court when losing last year´s Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber, and said ahead of the Australian Open that she was taking nothing for granted. Yet she appears to have put the emotional turmoil experienced in NY behind her and is revelling in her status as standard bearer for the next generation of women's players. The 37-year-old has won at Melbourne Park seven times, most recently on her last visit in 2017 when she was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia. "I always have insane big goals but I like to keep them to myself". "I'm trying to change it more, and I think I have".