Australian Open 2018: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic drawn in same half

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will open against Victor Estrella Burgos, while Roger Federer will open his title defence against Aljaz Bedene.

By: Reuters | Updated: January 11, 2018 3:38:54 pm
Australian Open 2018 will start from January 15. Roger Federer holds the Men’s singles trophy as he participates in the official draw ceremony ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. (REUTERS)

Defending champion Roger Federer has been drawn in the same half of the Australian Open as six-time winner Novak Djokovic, who is returning from an elbow injury and is seeded 14th. Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the final here last year on his return from six months on the sidelines and is seeded No. 2 as he bids for a 20th Grand Slam singles title.

Top-ranked Nadal will open against Victor Estrella Burgos, has a potential fourth-round match against John Isner, and has No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov in the same half of the draw, which was held on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena.

Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title four months after giving birth to her first child, leaving the women’s draw open. Venus Williams, who lost the all-Williams final last year, has a tough opener against Belinda Bencic and is also in the same quarter as U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens.

Top-ranked Simona Halep is in the same half as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who has a difficult quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.

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