Australian giantkiller Alex De Minaur has been spared an early blockbuster showdown with Novak Djokovic on the first grand slam of 2024 in Melbourne.
De Minaur upset Djokovic on the United Cup final week to interrupt into the highest 10 rankings for the primary time however received’t face the world primary till a minimum of the Australian Open semi-finals, if each of them get that far.
De Minaur, within the second half of the 128 participant males’s draw, has a troublesome first spherical conflict with big-serving Milos Raonic whereas Djokovic, within the prime quarter of the draw as she chases a report twenty fifth grand slam title, will face both a qualifier or a fortunate loser.
Djokovic’s greatest problem for the title, Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, drew veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Alcarez is within the backside half so can’t meet his Serbian rival till the ultimate.
World No.3 Daniil Medvedev bought an as but unnamed qualifier whereas final yr’s runner up Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Italian Matteo Berrettini first up.
Seeded tenth, De Minaur is bidding to change into the primary Australian to win the lads’s title since 1976 and whereas Raonic is a testing project, issues begin to open up.
The primary time he may meet a participant ranked above him is within the spherical of 16 the place he may face Russian Andrey Rublev, who the Australian has overwhelmed thrice.
However issues may get tougher in a short time after that with Jannick Sinner ready within the quarters then Djokovic within the semis.
The Australian Open begins on Sunday.
The ladies’s draw additionally threw up some intriguing first spherical match ups.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek of Poland was drawn towards American Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, who’s presently unseeded.
The winner of that match will play both Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, or Danielle Collins, who was runner-up to Ash Barty when she received the event in 2022.
Two-time Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, taking part in her first grand slam since giving start to her daughter final yr, drew Carolina Garcia of France.
Final yr’s runner-up Elena Rybakina bought a tough first spherical in Czech Karolina Pliskova, a semif-finalist in 2019, whereas the defending champion Aryna Sabalenka bought a fortunate break when she drew a qualifier.
1.45PM: FULL MEN’S, WOMEN’S DRAW REVEALED
1.30PM: FULL AUSSIE MEN’S FIRST-ROUND CLASHES
1.25PM: DEMON’S TRICKY FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP
Australia’s Alex de Minaur has not been dealt any favours regardless of getting into the Australian Open along with his highest profession rating and seeding.
The world No.10 will face the damaging former World No.3 Milos Raonic in his first-round conflict, with the big-serving Canadian presenting a really difficult first-up providing.
In the meantime, Jordan Thompson takes on fellow Australian Aleksandar Vukic – with a possible second-round conflict towards in style seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
1.20PM: AUSSIE WOMEN HIT HARD AT DRAW
It has been a tricky previous day for the Australian girls.
Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic will face Croatia’s Petra Martic in her opening match, however elsewhere it was carnage.
Taylah Preston and Kim Birrell have landed seeded gamers Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko, whereas Oliva Gadecki will get the damaging floater Sloane Stephens.
1.10PM: OSAKA LANDS BLOCKBUSTER FIRST-ROUND
Naomi Osaka makes her return to Australia with a blockbuster first-round match towards sixteenth seed Caroline Garcia.
One other spotlight of the first-round matches will by Angelique Kerber and the USA’s Danielle Collins.
The winner there would seemingly face Swiatek – ought to she get previous Kenin
“It’s stacked with both Australian Open champions or finalists,” says former Australian star Casey Dellacqua.
“It’s a mouthwatering part when it comes to previous champions and ladies’s who’ve had nice success in Australia.”
Right here’s a take a look at how the quarter-finals may appear like if outcomes are as anticipated.
1.05PM: SWIATEK’S HORROR FIRST ROUND DRAW
That’s an absolute nightmare draw for the ladies’s favorite, Iga Swiatek, who attracts 2020 champion Sofia Kenin as her first-round match.
Kenin loomed as one of the vital harmful floaters on the ladies’s aspect of the draw together with fellow former champion Naomi Osaka and the likes of Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki.
However Kenin, the previous World No.4, just isn’t a reputation you wish to see first up – regardless of her unimpressive current outcomes.
12PM: INJURY CURSE HAMPERS HISTORY-CHASING NOVAK
Novak Djokovic is as soon as once more red-hot favorite at the Australian Open as he chases an unprecedented twenty fifth grand slam title, however a wrist drawback and the emergence of Carlos Alcaraz places his all-conquering reign underneath risk.
The 36-year-old from Serbia defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in final yr’s last for a record-extending tenth Melbourne crown then added the French and US Open titles to his assortment in 2023.
However he misplaced a pulsating Wimbledon last to Alcaraz, who’s a unique participant to the one which final graced the Australian arduous courts as an 18-year-old ranked exterior the highest 30.
THE FULL DRAW AND BRACKETS WILL BE REVEALED AT 1PM
The 20-year-old missed final yr’s occasion with a hamstring damage and arrives this time as a two-time main champion, world No.2 – behind Djokovic – and the brightest younger star in tennis.Rafael Nadal, Djokovic’s long-time rival, on Sunday pulled out of the Australian Open with a muscle tear in a contemporary blow to the veteran’s hopes of returning to the highest of the game.
Nadal’s fellow Spaniard Alcaraz opted to skip a warm-up event for the opening grand slam of the yr, making his 2024 type a thriller.
Djokovic will start his defence with an damage cloud hanging over him, needing therapy on his proper wrist by way of each matches of the United Cup – including a loss to Australia’s Alex de Minaur.
In the meantime, Iga Swiatek is in scintillating type as she seeks a maiden Australian Open crown, however she may face a stiff check from defending champion Aryna Sabalenka while two-time winner Naomi Osaka is making her comeback.
World primary Swiatek has received 17 of her 18 matches since she misplaced within the fourth spherical of her US Open title defence, happening to win the China Open and the WTA Finals.
The Pole has began the brand new season with a flourish, profitable all 5 of her singles on the United Cup final week.