The Australian Open is always one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, with the finest tennis players in the world set to descend on Melbourne in a bid to win the first major title of the year.
Fresh from a break, some sparkling tennis is typically played at this event, and some huge names will be in action in both the men's and women's draws.
Roger Federer will be back to defend the title he has won six times in total and for the previous two years in a row. However, Novak Djokovic finished 2018 strongly and is the top seed, while Rafael Nadal is always a danger in Grand Slam events.
In the women's bracket, the top seed is Simona Halep, who lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final here a year ago. Serena Williams will also be fancied to add to her remarkable haul of 23 Grand Slam titles in singles.
Here are the top seeds for both brackets and a preview of what should be two tremendous weeks of tennis from Australia.
1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
2. Rafael Nadal, Spain
3. Roger Federer, Switzerland
4. Alexander Zverev, Germany
5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa
6. Marin Cilic, Croatia
7. Dominic Thiem, Austria
8. Kei Nishikori, Japan
9. John Isner, United States
10. Karen Khachanov, Russia
1. Simona Halep, Romania
2. Angelique Kerber, Germany
3. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark
4. Naomi Osaka, Japan
5. Sloane Stephens, United States
6. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
7. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
8. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic.
9. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
10. Daria Kasatkina, Russia
For the full list of seeds visit the Australian Open website.
In the men's game, the same players have dominated the sport for nearly a decade, and they all enjoyed success in 2018.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all won Grand Slam titles last year, and as we embark on another season, it's tough to see a winner coming from anyone other than that trio in Melbourne. The quality, experience and winning mentality each possesses makes them forces to be reckoned with.
Tennis writer Nick Nemeroff put the longevity of the trio into context:
Djokovic is a deserving top seed, as he found his best in the second half of the previous year.
The Game Insight Group is backing the Serb to triumph again at the start of 2019:
The 31-year-old has relished his appearances at this event, too. His first Grand Slam win was at the Australian Open in 2008, and he's won the trophy on five more occasions at the Rod Laver Arena.
Federer has reigned supreme in Australia in the last two years, and at 37, he may have benefitted most from the break; he looked jaded at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last season. Nadal, meanwhile, has endured mixed fortunes on hard courts as of late.
In the women's bracket, Williams will be out to make history, as a tournament victory would see her move level with Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles prizes. The veteran will also be seeking to respond following her controversial loss to Naomi Osaka in the 2018 U.S. Open final.
The draw hasn't been kind to Williams, though, as Christopher Clarey of the New York Times noted:
There's also fierce competition throughout the bracket. Not only did Halep break her Grand Slam duck in 2018, but Angelique Kerber also rediscovered her form in spectacular fashion last year with a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.
Prior to her loss to Petra Kvitova at the Sydney International in the semi-finals, tennis journalist Jose Morgado had been impressed with the German:
Kerber knows what's required to win in Australia, too, as her first Grand Slam came in this tournament in 2016.
Naomi Osaka is certainly one to watch this year, as she will be expected to kick on after beating Williams to win the U.S. Open. Still, at the moment, Kerber appears to be the surest bet from an open field when it comes to these high-pressure matches.
Predicted Winners: Men's Draw - Djokovic, Women's Draw - Kerber