Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Title favorites face tricky early schedule at Australian Open

Australian Open,Roger Federer,Denis Istomin Roger Federer poses with the men's singles trophy during the draw for the Australian Open
Rita Gibson | 10 January, 2019, 16:24

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.

Serb Djokovic could then play a rematch of his 2008 final triumph over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, with a possible quarter-final against Kei Nishikori to follow.

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.

Andy Murray will make his return to the Australian Open with a tough first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish 22nd seed defeated Novak Djokovic on his way to the title in Doha last week while concerns about Murray's fitness grew as he struggled through a practice match against world number one Djokovic at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Total lunar eclipse happening January 20
Since the first full moon of January is called "wolf moon"; many are calling this event a "Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse". It's an event that will be best viewed from the eastern U.S., Central America, and South America.

Alex de Minaur, the only Australian men's seed in the draw at number 27, opens against Pedro Sousa, while other prominent first-round matchups for the locals include John Millman against Federico Delbonis, and Nick Kyrgios in a mouth-watering encounter against big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, the 16th seed. She is the hot favourite to claim a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

Fourth seed Osaka faces Poland's Magda Linette first up and may need to battle past twice champion Victoria Azarenka in the third round.

The former world number one is playing at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2017 and a year on from hip surgery but looked laboured taking on his long-time rival under match conditions on Margaret Court Arena.

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

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