Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal on opposite sides of a tie at the Australian Open

Melbourne, Australia – Contenders Novak Djokovic And Rafael Nadal They had been positioned into the 2 halves of the Australian Open in Thursday’s draw, which means the 43-times Grand Slam champions can solely meet within the ultimate at Melbourne Park.

9-time Australian champion Djokovic is again within the grueling event after lacking it final 12 months when his visa was revoked and he was deported from the nation as a result of he was not vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. He additionally couldn’t compete within the 2022 US Open.

Fourth seed Djokovic will open his bid for a tenth Australian Open title in opposition to the Spaniard Roberto Karpeles Baena In a event that begins on Monday.

Iga Swiatekthe No. 1 ranked participant within the girls’s event, faces Germany Julie Niemeyerwhich was ranked No. 68 within the opening spherical. The Polish participant reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park in 2022, the 12 months she gained the French and US Open titles.

However the primary focus within the first spherical might be on Nadal, who faces a probably powerful showdown in opposition to a British participant Jack Draper. Draper, 21, was a semi-finalist on the Subsequent Technology Championships in November and also will play a semi-finalist on the Adelaide Worldwide on Friday.

Her final five-time Australian Open finalist is a spherical opener Britain’s Andy Murray in opposition to italian Matteo Berettinithe earlier Wimbledon finalist and is seeded No. 13.

Murray defeated the Australian Alex de Minor 6-3, 6-3 in an exhibition recreation on Thursday and he’s completely happy together with his kind.

“It is all the time troublesome to play in exhibition matches prefer it’s the primary spherical of a grand slam, however I needed to let all of it out on the court docket to offer my physique the very best preparation, see how I used to be transferring, see how I used to be serving, and it labored out properly,” Murray stated. .

Attainable males’s quarter-finals by seeding are: Nadal vs. No. 7 Daniel Medvedev In what might be a rematch of final 12 months’s ultimate at Melbourne Park, which Nadal gained after dropping the primary two units, and ending third. Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime Within the prime half and Djokovic in opposition to No. 5 Andrey Rublevand No. 2 Casper Highway vs. No. 8 Taylor Fritz within the decrease half.

Nadal has a career-leading 22 Grand Slam titles, greater than Djokovic.

Wimbledon ultimate Nick Kyrgioswho faces Roman Cifullin Within the opening spherical, Djokovic will play an exhibition match on Friday in Melbourne.

“I’m probably the greatest gamers on this planet, so I’ll positively go into the Australian Open and any main tournaments with confidence,” stated Kyrgios.

Anas JaberAnd he or she ranked second, who reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022, and performs with Tamara Zidancic within the girls’s draw.

Quantity 3 Jessica Pegulawho captained the US workforce that gained the United Combined Nationals Cup in Sydney final week, faces Jacqueline Christian Romania within the first spherical.

Australia Cup captain Billie Jean King Alicia Molickwho attended the draw at Melbourne Park, stated Pegula was the contender.

“I really feel like she has psychological stability and I actually really feel she might be right here within the later stage of the Australian Open,” Molik stated.

The seventh seed Coco Jovewho gained a event in Auckland final week, faces a troublesome first-round check in opposition to him Katerina Sinyakovawho defeated her within the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup in November.

The potential girls’s quarterfinal matches are: Swiatek in opposition to Gauff in what might be a rematch of final 12 months’s French Open ultimate, gained by Swiatek, and Pegula in opposition to the sixth seed. Maria Scary within the higher half of the arch; And Jaber reverse No. 5 Arina Sabalenkaand quantity 4 Caroline Garcia vs. No. 8 Daria Kasatkina within the decrease half.

One other massive first spherical match is the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in opposition to Sophia Keninwho gained the title at Melbourne Park in 2020.

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