Rafael Nadal will begin the defence of his Australian Open title against Great Britain’s Jack Draper, with the draw for…
Rafael Nadal will begin the defence of his Australian Open title against Great Britain’s Jack Draper, with the draw for the 2023 event having been confirmed.
Nadal staged a remarkable recovery from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in last year’s unforgettable final, and the 36-year-old will kick off his title defence against rising star Draper in Melbourne.
Nadal, the record 22-time major champion, has lost each of his opening two matches in 2023 and faces a tricky opening assignment against the 21-year-old – ranked world number 40.
Meanwhile, nine-time champion Novak Djokovic marks his return to Melbourne with a clash against Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.
Djokovic, who was unable to compete in last year’s Australian Open due to his vaccination status, warmed up for the opening Grand Slam of the year by winning the Adelaide International last weekend.
Djokovic would not face rival Nadal until the final.
Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from his home slam through injury ahead of his first round tie.
Andrey Rublev faces his close friend and former world number three Dominic Thiem in another stand-out tie, while third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Quentin Halys of France.
Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray has been handed a formidable opening test against 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in a repeat of their Last 32 encounter at Flushing Meadows last year.
In the women’s draw, world number one Iga Swiatek, semi-finalist a year ago, starts out against Germany’s recent Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier.
Former champions Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin go head-to-head in one of the stand-out ties, while former US Open champion Emma Raducanu could meet Coco Gauff in the Second Round if they can overcome Tamara Korpatsch and Kateřina Siniaková respectively.
Third seed Jessica Pegula opens up against Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian, while fourth seed Caroline Garcia plays Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov.
Wimbledon and US Open runner-up Ons Jabeur will face Tamara Zidanšek, while Bianca Andreescu meets Marie Bouzkova and Leylah Fernandez comes up against Alize Cornet.
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Australian Open 2023 Draw