Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Andy Murray struggles in Australian Open practice match against Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray struggles in Australian Open practice match against Novak Djokovic

Caroline Wozniacki, who won her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne past year after a tough final against Halep, is in the same section as Maria Sharapova and has Petra Kvitova at the top of her quarter. Local hope John Millman, who dumped Roger Federer out of the fourth round at last year's U.S. Open, is no slouch either as a potential second round match-up for Murray, with 10th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov another likely roadblock to the last 16.

World number one Novak Djokovic exposed Andy Murray's frailties in a practice match ahead of the Australian Open on Thursday (Jan 10), with the Scot calling it a day while losing 6-1, 4-1.

Serb Djokovic could then face a rematch of his 2008 final triumph over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, before a possible second week match-up against Japan's Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

Those two, and seventh seed Dominic Thiem, are in the same quarter as Alexander Zverev, who could meet Djokovic in the semifinals but must first plot his way past Aljaz Bedene in the opening round.

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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Chinese top tennis player Wang Qiang is the 21st seed at the Australian Open on Thursday as Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep led the men's and women's singles seeding lists respectively.

"I can't believe it's been a year already", Dane Wozniacki said at the draw ceremony. Among those looking to halt Serena's charge: world number one Simona Halep, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open victor Naomi Osaka.

"To finally get that (title) here was so special, it's the happy slam".

Serena Williams, who won the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, returns as the 16th-seeded player after missing last year's tournament.

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.

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