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Djokovic, Federer On Opposite Sides Of Australian Open Draw

10 January 2019

World number ones Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep were named top seeds today for next week's Australian Open, with 23-time major victor Serena Williams lurking at 16 on the women's side.

Should Djokovic, a six-time victor at Melbourne Park, beat an as-yet-unknown qualifier, he could face wild card Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next match, with Denis Shapovalov a possible third-round opponent and Kei Nishikori potentially awaiting in the last eight.

A supporter of the 31-year-old wrote on Instagram saying how much they enjoyed Murray's practice match with Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

MELBOURNE-Double defending champion Roger Federer will start his bid for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles next week against unseeded Uzbek Denis Istomin, who caused a huge upset when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the second round two years ago. Murray is playing in Australia under his protected ranking of world number two, which is used to help players who have suffered long-term injuries.

Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a hard opener at the year's first grand slam against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury.

"I'm so close, I'll give it a go, " Federer said.

And he gets his Australian Open campaign underway against James Duckworth, while Federer takes on Denis Istomin.

Five-time Melbourne Park runner-up Andy Murray, on the comeback trail from injury, faces 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.

The American great, beaten by Naomi Osaka in the 2018 U.S. Open final after a fiery tirade against the chair umpire, faces a tough run to the quarterfinals, with top seed and last year's finalist Simona Halep a possible fourth round encounter. "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back". Not just physically, but also mentally, to see that I could beat Grigor Dimitrov twice, he was top-10 at that time.

The three-time grand slam champion then offered a kind gesture by saying: 'If you'd like to come along and watch my match on Monday or Tuesday I'll sort you a ticket'.

Djokovic, Federer On Opposite Sides Of Australian Open Draw