Football

Andy Murray (pictured) takes on Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in Melbourne.

Australian Open draw complete as the big guns eye first Grand Slam of the season

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Andy Murray will make his return to the Australian Open with a tough first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish 22nd seed defeated Novak Djokovic on his way to the title in Doha last week while concerns about Murray’s fitness grew as he struggled through a practice match against world number one Djokovic at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a difficult opener against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury.

Cameron Norrie goes into the tournament as Britain’s form man and he faces a rematch with American Taylor Fritz, who he defeated to reach the semi-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland on Thursday.

Defending champion Roger Federer, who is 5/1 with GIVEMEBET to win the tournament, begins his campaign against Denis Istomin in round one and is in the same half of the draw as Rafael Nadal, who has drawn Australian James Duckworth.

Djokovic, who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will play a qualifier in round one.

So after the draw has been made, likely routes to the final have been mapped out, and it makes for interesting reading.

The favourite going into the tournament is Serb Djokovic, and his likely route to the final consists of: Qualifier, Klizan, Shapovalov, Goffin, Nishikori, Zverev, Nadal.

So it could be Djokovic vs Nadal in the final, and if that is the case, what is Nadal's likely route?

Well, he could have the following route: Duckworth, Ebden, de Minaur, Edmund, Anderson, Federer, Djokovic.

A Nadal vs Federer semi-final does sound very tasty, and that leads to the question, what is Federer's likely route?

The Swiss is likely to face the following: Istomin, Qualifier, Monfils, Tsitsipas, Cilic, Nadal, Djokovic.

So, if all goes to plan and as expected, we could witness a Nadal vs Federer semi-final Down Under, which would then see them squaring off with favourite Djokovic.

However, we all know tennis is decided on the court, and nowhere else.

Topics:
Football
GiveMeBet
Kyle Edmund
Andy Murray
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic

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