Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Andy Murray opens his Australian Open campaign against Roberto Bautista Agut

Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki to attend the Australian Open draw Australian Open 2019: Andy Murray faces Roberto Bautista Agut in first round
Rita Gibson | 10 January, 2019, 18:14

He will start his drive to make history against a yet-to-be-decided qualifier and could meet France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

No. 4 Alexander Zverev is in the same half and looms in the semifinals if both players advance that far.

Federer, who has won the last two at Melbourne Park in a career resurgence, is in the bottom half of the draw with second-ranked Rafael Nadal, who is returning from an injury layoff.

"The moment you find out the draw, that's when you shift your focus to the first round and only the first round - not going for your seventh (title) or anything like that", said Federer, who was heading to the practice courts immediately after attending the tournament draw.

Chinese top tennis player Wang Qiang is the 21st seed at the Australian Open on Thursday as Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep led the men's and women's singles seeding lists respectively. And with No. 6 Marin Cilic in the same quarter, there's potential for a rematch of the 2018 final a few rounds early.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open. But being so close, I'll give it a go.

Title favorites face tricky early schedule at Australian Open
Andy Murray will make his return to the Australian Open with a tough first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut . She is the hot favourite to claim a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

One of the standout matchups of the first round sees unseeded Nick Kyrgios' meet 2016 semifinalist and 16th seed Milos Raonic, with the victor of that contest going through to face either 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka or Ernests Gulbis.

Federer is a six-time champion in Melbourne, and the 37-year-old is targeting a third-straight victory in the opening major of the season.

After winning the Australian Open past year, Federer skipped the French Open for the third time in a row before losing in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the fourth round at the US Open.

Halep, however, may be reluctant to look beyond the first round, having drawn her U.S. Open nemesis Kaia Kanepi.

Second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, will open against Slovenian Polona Hercog, with a possible quarter-final against 2017 U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens in the second week.

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