Roger Federer seems to have to second thoughts when it comes to expanding those surreal Grand Slam numbers. After a remarkable comeback back in 2017, he is about to start all over again. Considering the current environment in the men's tour, the Swiss No. 1 looks as the main favorite at the moment. But, unlike last year, he will be surrounded by a different type of pressure. As a defending champion at Melbourne Park, the level of expectations will mean a different business.

The Aussie Open, a tournament where Federer reigned supreme five times in the past, might stand as a miraculous milestone as the current world No.1 will start bidding for his 20th Grand Slam title in singles.

Moreover, it would be only the second time he would win Australian Open in two consecutive years. He did once in the past with those 2006 and 2007 titles.

Roger Federer comes to Melbourne riding a positive wave

Unlike other players, Roger Federer went for an exhibition event as a warm-up for Melbourne. In Perth, Australia he partnered Belinda Bencic to lead Switzerland into another Hopman Cup success. It was Federer's second distinction of this kind, seventeen years after he had won it partnering another Swiss great - Martina Hingis.

During the week in Perth, Roger Federer put in a serious amount of high-quality and highly-entertaining tennis. He has won all the encounters he was a part of and the overall picture places him in the upper drawer of 2018 Australian Open favorites.

Grand Slams are the highlights of any professional tennis player. It's a two-week competition that awards not only skills and mastery but a constant pace too. Unlike any other events, a Grand Salm has that three-out-of-five winner system that makes things even better. Some say that a player aiming to clinch a Major must be mentally and physically prepared to play seven matches of five sets each.

That's similar to preparing for the worst case scenario in order to achieve something.

Who can challenge the defending champion?

Widely regarded as the main favorite of the event, Roger Federer is not on a solitary quest, as others might want to taste a bit of Aussie glory. Unfortunately, some players won't be there to compete.

Andy Murray is the biggest casualty while doubt is looming above others. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are expected to balance the sheet. The current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, is still struggling with a knee issue while the former leader from Serbia is still uncertain about his sore elbow.

2014 winner Stan Wawrinka and last year's semifinalist is expected to resume playing after missing the second part of 2017 due to a knee surgery. Milos Raonic, 2016 semifinalist can also be a name to watch.

Regarding the younger generation of ATP stars, Alexander Zverev (4 ATP) leads the NextGen pack. Grigor Dimitrov might also try to find his best finish in Melbourne. Last year, he lost a heart-stopping five-set semifinal to Rafael Nadal.

The Bulgarian bounced back to win his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati only to cap that with a huge win at the ATP Nitto Finals in London.

Going back to Federer, the overall picture prior to the big quest is that it's an easier task compared to last year. Now, he has some leverages to rely on including a solid ranking and some positive momentum.