February 16, 2019

Andy Murray to face Zverev in opener

Andy Murray

British number one Andy Murray will face German Alexander Zverev in the first round of the Australian Open, reports BBC.

The Scot, 28, is aiming to win his first title in Melbourne, having lost four finals, including last year to Novak Djokovic.

Aljaz Bedene faces the USA’s Steve Johnson, while in the women’s draw, Britain’s Johanna Konta and Heather Watson take on American Venus Williams and Hungary’s Timea Babos respectively.

The tournament runs from 18-31 January.

Murray, seeded second and chasing a third Grand Slam title, was drawn in the same half as Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, meaning he could meet either player in the semi-finals.

The Scot has never played 18-year-old Zverev, who is ranked 83rd in the world.

Bedene’s opponent, Johnson, is seeded 31st, seven places higher than fellow Briton Kyle Edmund’s first-round opponent, Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Last year’s men’s champion and world number one Djokovic starts against Hyeon Chung of South Korea, while Swiss number two seed Roger Federer begins his quest for a fifth Australian Open victory and 18th Grand Slam title against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Defending women’s champion Serena Williams and number five-ranked Maria Sharapova were drawn into the same section of the draw, meaning last year’s finalists could meet in the quarter-finals.

Six-time champion Williams has a tough draw starting in the opening round against Camila Giorgi of Italy, who finished 2015 at number 34 in the world and is the highest-ranked unseeded player for the season’s first major.

Williams could also meet former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round.

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