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Australian Open 2019: Andy Murray faces Roberto Bautista Agut in first round

Andy Murray (right) is a five-time Australian Open runner-up, losing four of the finals to Novak Djokovic
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Britain’s Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund have been handed tricky opening matches at the Australian Open.

Murray, ranked 230th in the world as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, faces Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Edmund, who reached the semi-finals last year, meets former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych.

Johanna Konta – Britain’s leading woman and 2016 semi-finalist – plays home hope Ajla Tomljanovic.

British number two Cameron Norrie takes on American Taylor Fritz, whom he beat on Thursday in the ASB Classic quarter-finals in Auckland.

Compatriot Katie Boulter faces Ekaterina Makarova and Heather Watson is up against Petra Martic.

Dan Evans and Harriet Dart could increase the number of Britons in the main draw to eight if they win their final qualifying matches.

Who the Britons face in round one (world ranking in brackets)
Kyle Edmund (14) v Tomas Berdych (57)
Cameron Norrie (93) v Taylor Fritz (50)
Andy Murray (230) v Roberto Bautista Agut (23)
Johanna Konta (38) v Ajla Tomljanovic (45)
Heather Watson (93) v Petra Martic (31)
Katie Boulter (99) v Ekaterina Makarova (57)

Defending men’s champion Roger Federer plays Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in his opening match, while Rafael Nadal – in the Swiss’ half of the draw – meets Australian wild card James Duckworth.

World number one Novak Djokovic will face a qualifier in the first round, potentially playing France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the men’s draw, will face Canada’s 16th seed Milos Raonic.

Caroline Wozniacki, who won her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne last year, starts her defence against Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck.

Top seed Simona Halep has been given the chance to gain revenge on Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, who beat the Romanian in the first round of the US Open in August.

Halep’s quarter of the draw also contains Serena Williams, who is aiming for a 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, former Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza and Konta.

Serena Williams faces Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the first round as she competes for the first time since losing the US Open final in controversial circumstances.

The draws were conducted by Australian great Rod Laver and tournament director Craig Tiley at Melbourne Park before being publicly revealed shortly afterwards on Thursday.

The singles champions will each receive 4m Australian dollars (£2.25m).

More to follow.

Source

neallesh@yahoo.co.uk

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