Murray cuts short Djokovic practice match

Rex Christensen
January 10, 2019

Long-time rival Djokovic offered to share a court with him, but Murray called time after less than an hour with his movement around the baseline appearing restricted.

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

But the toughest-looking opener on paper pits Australian 2015 quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios against Canadian 16th seed and 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will take on a qualifier.

Should Djokovic, a six-time victor at Melbourne Park, beat an as-yet-unknown qualifier, he could face wildcard Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next match, with Denis Shapovalov a possible third-round opponent and Kei Nishikori potentially awaiting in the last eight.

No. 4 Alexander Zverev is in the same half and looms in the semifinals if both players advance that far.

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

This year, Wilander - a three-time champion at the Australian Open - says Federer's hopes of a 21st Grand Slam lie exclusively on the hard courts of Melbourne Park. Halep has drawn another first-round against Kaia Kanepi, who beat her at the same stage at last year's U.S. Open, and a possible third rounder against unseeded Venus Williams.

"I can't believe it's been a year already", Dane Wozniacki said at the draw ceremony.

Eighteen-time grand slam singles champion Chris Evert fears for Murray's future.

Unseeded Estonian Kanepi knocked Halep out of the first round at Flushing Meadows a year ago, making the Romanian the first top seed to lose at that tournament's earliest stage.

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