Sports

Australian Open 2019 draw: Halep, Venus, Serena land in loaded top section

Australian Open 2019 draw: Halep, Venus, Serena land in loaded top section

Djokovic heads long-time rival Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer, with young-gun Alexander Zverev seeded four as he targets a maiden Grand Slam title.

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.

"He [Djokovic] continues to challenge me". It was important not to get frustrated by it. "But I don't see him playing if he at least doesn't think he can be a factor in a major".

"I always enjoy my matches against him", 20-time grand slam victor Federer said at the draw.

"Even at the very beginning when he was just coming up, because I think we're both natural attacking players and because of that we have very aggressive points". We are aggressive. He is up there with Nadal and [Lleyton] Hewitt - they make me rethink my game.

"The hip is incredibly difficult to come back from for especially a tennis player and someone that has worked as hard as he's worked, put the miles on", ESPN tennis pundit Patrick McEnroe said.

Grizzlies, forward Chandler Parsons agree to separation
Based on discussions with the Memphis medical staff, Parsons expected to return for a road game in Sacramento that day. Parsons still has $38 million remaining on the four-year contract he signed in July 2016.

Britain's Andy Murray will open his Australian Open campaign against Spain's 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, will open against Slovenian Polona Hercog, with a possible quarter-final against 2017 U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens in the second week.

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.

Murray, 31, is on the comeback trail after missing 11 months with a hip injury which has seen him slump to 230 in the world.

The two had to leave the court to allow for the next practice session.

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.


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