Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Faces Qualifier, Roger Federer Takes On Denis Istomin

Updated: 10 January 2019 14:57 IST

Novak Djokovic will start his drive to make history against a yet-to-be-decided qualifier and could meet France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Faces Qualifier, Roger Federer Takes On Denis Istomin
In 2018, Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon and the US Open. © AFP

World number one Novak Djokovic will start his bid to win a record seventh Australian Open title next week against a qualifier following Thursday's draw. The Serb had a magnificent 2018, making an astonishing climb back from outside the world's top 20 in June, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on the way to reclaiming the number one ranking in November. He will start his drive to make history against a yet-to-be-decided qualifier and could meet France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

Champion Roger Federer, seeded three and also gunning for a seventh Melbourne title, starts his title defence against world number 99 Denis Istomin and could meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

"He (Djokovic) continues to challenge me. I played him in his prime when he was virtually unbeatable. It was important not to get frustrated by it. I always enjoy my matches against him," 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer said at the draw.

"We are both natural attacking players. We are aggressive. He is up there with Nadal and Hewitt they make me rethink my game. I like to play attacking tennis, so I've come full circle."

Second seeded Nadal begins against Australian James Duckworth, fourth seed Alexander Zverev faces Slovenian Aljaz Bedene while last year's runner-up Marin Cilic has a tricky encounter with Australian Bernard Tomic.

A highlight first round clash will see Australia's unseeded Nick Kyrgios up against Canada's big-serving 16th seed Milos Raonic, with the winner facing either Stan Wawrinka or Ernests Gulbis.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as he returns from a hip injury.

Comments
Topics mentioned in this article Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Tennis Andy Murray Andy Murray
Highlights
  • Novak Djokovic reclaimed the number one ranking in November
  • Second seeded Rafael Nadal begins against Australian James Duckworth
  • Marin Cilic has a tricky encounter with Australian Bernard Tomic
Related Articles
Novak Djokovic Fools Fans With "We Are The Champions" Piano Performance. Watch Video
Novak Djokovic Fools Fans With "We Are The Champions" Piano Performance. Watch Video
Davis Cup: Novak Djokovic Sends Serbia Through As France Knocked Out
Davis Cup: Novak Djokovic Sends Serbia Through As France Knocked Out
Davis Cup: Andy Murray Leads Britain To Opening Win, Spain Reach Last Eight
Davis Cup: Andy Murray Leads Britain To Opening Win, Spain Reach Last Eight
Rafael Nadal Ends Year As Number One For Fifth Time
Rafael Nadal Ends Year As Number One For Fifth Time
Watch: Novak Djokovic
Watch: Novak Djokovic's Pocket Trick With Ball Sends Fans Wild In Stadium
Advertisement