Federer and Nadal on collision course in Oz open draw

Paul Annacone shares why Rafael Nadal gets injured more than Roger Federer

Paul Annacone shares why Rafael Nadal gets injured more than Roger Federer

Now seeded 16th, Williams was drawn into the same section Thursday as No. 1-ranked Simona Halep, the runner-up a year ago.

Last year's surprise semi-finalist Kyle Edmund, the 13th seed, faces a tough first-round clash against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury, while Cameron Norrie takes on American Taylor Fritz in a rematch of the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland which the British No 2 won.

The draw pits Federer and Nadal in the same half, opening up the potential for a semi-final meeting between the pair.

Andy Murray has offered a fan a ticket to his Australian Open first-round clash with Roberto Bautista Agut.

Just hours before the draw, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray hit on MCA Thursday afternoon in Melbourne. But being so close, I'll give it a go. Murray played at the season-opening Brisbane International last week, where he won his first-round match against James Duckworth but lost in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev in the second, limping between points and admitting he's still dealing with his troublesome right hip.

The Spanish 22nd seed defeated Djokovic on his way to the title in Doha last week while concerns about Murray's fitness grew as he struggled through a practice match against Djokovic at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Serena Williams will face Tatjana Maria in the first round, and could meet either Genie Bouchard or Peng Shaui in the second round.

Serbian Djokovic heads into the tournament as favourite to win a record seventh title and his third Grand Slam in a row, while five-times runner-up Murray, now ranked 230th, will have far lower expectations at the event starting on Monday. "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back".

US Open champion Osaka opens against Poland's Magda Linette, and sees last year's upset artist and this year's No.28 seed Hsieh Su-wei, 2018 semifinalist and No.12 seed Elise Mertens and No.6 seed Elina Svitolina in her quarter.

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

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