Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Sport | By Matt Richards

Morning Roundup: Djokovic, Halep top seeds for Australian Open

Morning Roundup: Djokovic, Halep top seeds for Australian Open

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are each aiming for a record seventh men's Australian Open title and the draw has ensured they can't play each other at Melbourne Park until the final.

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.

Serena Williams already has won seven Australian Open singles titles, and is a strong contender to add another after skipping last year's tournament while on leave after having a baby. Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 AO victor, looms as a second-round foe for Kyrgios.

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But the lack of a seeding has left him exposed to a challenging early draw, and he will have to battle past a tough first-round opponent in Spanish 22nd seed and former world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut.

World No 4 Alexander Zverev is in the same half and a blockbuster semi-final looms if both players advance that far. But being so close, I'll give it a go.

He was bundled out of the Brisbane International warm-up last week in round two by Russia's Daniil Medvedev and headed straight to Melbourne to fit in some much-needed practice.

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Williams will face Tatjana Maria in the first round, and could meet either Genie Bouchard or Peng Shaui in the second.

Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who won her first Grand Slam title here a year ago after a tough final against Halep, is in the same section as Maria Sharapova and has Petra Kvitova at the top of her quarter.

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'. For me it's just taking it day by day, doing the right things, taking even better care of my body.

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US Open champion Osaka opens against Poland's Magda Linette, and sees last year's upset artist and this year's No.28 seed Hsieh Su-wei, 2018 semifinalist and No.12 seed Elise Mertens and No.6 seed Elina Svitolina in her quarter. "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back".

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