Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sport | By

Djokovic beats Murray in practice match

Djokovic beats Murray in practice match

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 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.

British number one Kyle Edmund, who reached the semi-finals past year, has a hard draw against Tomas Berdych.

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

An exchange followed, with Murray even offering to sort her out a ticket for his first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

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. He defeated Tsonga in the 2008 Australian final. Halep has a tough opening encounter against Kaia Kanepi and a possible third rounder against Venus Williams.

Three-time major victor Murray is on the comeback trail after missing 11 months with a hip injury which has seen him slump to 230 in the world.

"So long as it's not too physical for Federer in the first four rounds, I would say he is as risky as he has been before".

'If you look you'll see a lot of players, more players who are winning Masters 1000 tournaments, like Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, than Grand Slams', said Wawrinka.

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