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

Australian Open: Federer to face Istomin, Djokovic to meet qualifier

Australian Open: Federer to face Istomin, Djokovic to meet qualifier

Federer is a six-time champion in Melbourne, and the 37-year-old is targeting a third-straight victory in the opening major of the season.

Djokovic, who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will play a qualifier in round one.

The contest was played under match conditions on Margaret Court Arena but, with the score 6-1, 4-1, Murray called an end to proceedings.

"I'm surprised that I'm still at this level, that I'm still in the top 10".

The pair have met four times in Australian Open finals, with the Serb winning them all.

Second seed Rafa Nadal, under an injury cloud after pulling out of the Brisbane International, will open against unseeded local James Duckworth.

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.

Last year's semi-finalist Kyle Edmund looms as a possible fourth round match-up for the Spaniard, who could then face big-serving Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals.

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On the women's side, all eyes will be on Serena Williams as she aims for Grand Slam number 24.

Halep, however, may be reluctant to look beyond the first round, having drawn her U.S. Open nemesis Kaia Kanepi. He defeated Tsonga in the 2008 Australian final.

"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".

In an interview to The Times of India, the three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka commented on the Big Three's dominance.

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

"The first time I came back here and hit on the courts, I thought, 'OK, I'm home,"' the third-seeded Wozniacki said of her return to Melbourne Park.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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