Just a week out from the Australian Open, a number of the most recognisable names in tennis have either been ruled out or are touch and go to make it to the first Grand Slam of the 2018 season in Melbourne.
Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will all be missing from the Australian Open roster for distinct reasons while the situations for Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic will become clearer after they assess their fitness at the Kooyong Classic this week.
You can listen to the full chat with Luke Jensen on the podcast player:
As the first Major of the year arrives, Joe was joined by ESPN tennis analyst Luke Jensen to set the scene for an intriguing tournament, starting with the absent Murray who has undergone surgery on a troublesome hip injury.
"I'm very worried," said Jensen of Murray's injury situation.
"I've sources that are close to him that I don't want to honestly name that felt even a year ago if he was ever going to retain that No 1 ranking - and he spent so much physical and emotional energy to get to that No 1 spot - he plays a very physical game. His defence compares to the offensive firepower or just tactical offense that someone like Roger Federer plays with, trying to keep the points short.
"Murray has to really run around and defend and defend, very similar to Djokovic. Murray's 30 years old now and remember he's had back issues and work done on his back. If you don't have your back, your hip, your joints, you're in big trouble, so we may be seeing the end of big Andy Murray."
But Jensen added that if surgery proves a success, the recovery period gives him time to return for Wimbledon this summer, and that the longevity of players like Roger Federer and Serena Williams can give the Scottish three time Grand Slam winner hope that he can still make an impact for a few more years.
Jensen also discussed the case of Federer who goes into the Australian Open as many people's firm favourite, while Simona Halep is an intriguing challenger in the women's draw as she chases a first Grand Slam.