Seven things to watch at the Australian Open

Ravi Ubha

Published 1300 GMT (2100 HKT) January 16, 2015
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Will it be thumbs up for Rafael Nadal when the Australian Open ends? He makes his grand slam return after missing the U.S. Open with a wrist injury. Nadal is bidding for a 15th major. Michael Dodge/Getty Images
A back injury hindered Nadal last year in Melbourne, heavily contributing to his loss in the final to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. He had previously never lost a set to Wawrinka. GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images
Despite struggling at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week, Serena Williams will still be the favorite in the women's draw. Williams disappointed at the first three majors in 2014 but then cruised to the U.S. Open title. Will Russell/Getty Images
Fresh off a title in Brisbane and his 1,000th career win, Roger Federer goes into the Australian Open with momentum. Can he win slam No. 18 and end a three-year drought at majors? Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Last year at the Australian Open was where Eugenie Bouchard truly announced herself to the tennis world. She reached the semifinals. Bouchard went on to make the Wimbledon final later in 2014. MAL FAIRCLOUGH/AFP/Getty Images
Juan Martin del Potro is back after missing most of 2014 with yet more wrist troubles. Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion from Argentina, returned to action in Sydney this week. Matt King/Getty Images
Simona Halep followed up an excellent 2013 with an even better 2014. Is a first grand slam title on the way in Melbourne? Feng Li/Getty Images
Home hopes will rest largely on Nick Kyrgios, who stunned Nadal at Wimbledon last year. The last Australian man to win the Australian Open was Mark Edmondson in 1976. CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images