Djokovic Faces Qualifier at Open, Federer Takes on Istomin

Paul Annacone shares why Rafael Nadal gets injured more than Roger Federer

Djokovic Faces Qualifier at Open, Federer Takes on Istomin

He has the potential of a second-round meeting against wildcard entry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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

"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.

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.

"I can't believe it's been a year already", Dane Wozniacki said at the draw ceremony.

Three-time grand slam victor Andy Murray has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as he returns from a hip injury.

A highlight first-round clash will see Australia's unseeded Nick Kyrgios up against Canada's big-serving 16th seed Milos Raonic, with the victor facing either Stan Wawrinka or Ernests Gulbis.

The Spanish 22nd seed defeated 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 today.

Serena Williams will face Tatjana Maria in the first round, and could meet either Genie Bouchard or Peng Shaui in the second round. Halep has a tough opening encounter against Kaia Kanepi and a possible third rounder against Venus Williams.

The six-times Australian Open champion Federer, who beat Marin Cilic in last year's final, could meet the Croat in the quarter-finals, should the Swiss come through a potentially tricky fourth round against Greek prospect Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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.

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