Djokovic thrashes Murray in Open practice match

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN PRACTICE SESSIONS

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN PRACTICE SESSIONS

"The Australian Open hasn't been the quickest of hard courts in the past couple of years, and if I was the tournament director, there is no way they wouldn't keep it that way because it favours [Nick] Kyrgios, most Australians, and definitely Federer".

The draw for the first Grand Slam of the season was made on Thursday and the top seeds could face some early tests of their title credentials when play gets underway on Monday. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looms as a potential second-round opponent in a possible rematch of their AO 2008 decider.

The 2009 champion Nadal, who retired hurt in the quarter-finals against Cilic previous year, could meet old rival Federer in the last four should his body hold up.

Second seed Rafa Nadal, who has question marks concerning his fitness after pulling out of the Brisbane International, will play unseeded local James Duckworth in the first round.

A hard first-round draw for Murray sees the world No 230 face 22nd seed Bautista Agut, though the five-time Australian Open finalist will be buoyed by his 100 per cent record against the Spaniard.

"I think it's his only chance of a major these days", said Wilander, who will be co-presenting the ever popular Game, Schett and Mats for Eurosport during the Australian Open.

In the women's tournament, Serena Williams's bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title and eighth at Melbourne Park will kick off against German world No. 71 Tatjana Maria.

Second-seeded Angelique Kerber, who won the Australian and U.S. Opens in 2016 and added the Wimbledon title previous year, is in the same half as Wozniacki and has 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in her quarter.

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.

This will be the first time the players will face each other.

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