Roger Federer to open Australian Open defence against Denis Istomin

Roger Federer greeted fans in Melbourne on Wednesday

Roger Federer greeted fans in Melbourne on Wednesday

Six-time Melbourne Park champion Federer, seeded No.3 for his quest for a hat-trick of Australian Open crowns and a record seventh AO titles in all, opens his 2019 campaign against world No. 99 Denis Istomin, while fellow six-time Melbourne victor and men's top seed Novak Djokovic plays a qualifier in the first round.

Australian Nick Kyrgios takes on 16th seed Milos Raonic in arguably the biggest first-round match-up in the men's draw.

Australian Open organisers said the match on the Margaret Court Arena show court would be open to the public. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looms as a potential second-round opponent in a possible rematch of their AO 2008 decider.

The draw for the first grand slam of the year took place on Thursday, where the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal all learned what their potential path to the trophy would look like.

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Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a hard opener against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury. She is the hot favourite to claim a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.

Three-time grand slam victor Andy Murray has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as he returns from a hip injury.

Second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, will open against Slovenian Polona Hercog, with a possible quarter-final against 2017 U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens in the second week.

Second-seeded Angelique Kerber, who won the Australian and U.S. Opens in 2016 and added the Wimbledon title a year ago, is in the same half as Wozniacki and has 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in her quarter.

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