Andy Murray will play Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open draw, while Jack Draper will take on Rafael Nadal.
British Open 2023
January 16 through 29. Environment: Melbourne Park
Daily radio commentary is available on the BBC Sport website and mobile app as well as a few live text commentaries and match reports.
The Australian Open’s top seed Rafael Nadal will face rising British prodigy Jack Draper in the opening round. Andy Murray was also dealt a challenging draw.
Novak Djokovic returns to Melbourne against Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain, while Murray takes on the 13th seed Matteo Berrettini.
Tamara Korpatsch of Germany will be Emma Raducanu’s opponent despite the fact that she has been dealing with an ankle issue.
Raducanu, 20, might compete against Coco Gauff, the seventh seed, in the second round.
The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the new year, is held at Melbourne Park from January 16 to 29.
Murray and Draper face challenging draws.
Berrettini and Andy Murray
In the third round of the US Open last year, Matteo Berrettini (right) defeated Andy Murray (left). Draper, 21, broke through as one of the ATP Tour’s rising stars last year, and the left-hander has maintained his quick rise this season by reaching the Adelaide semi-finals.
But it couldn’t have been any more difficult for him to make his Melbourne Park main-draw debut.
Although he has battled with injuries and dropped his first two matches of the year, Nadal, 36, is still a formidable opponent for most rivals. He is the current champion.
The 40th-ranked Draper is a young talent who possesses the strength and assurance that the 22-time major champion would probably not want to start against.
Murray, a former world number one, will be wallowing in his misfortune as well.
The 35-year-old Scot made a strong first impression on Thursday by defeating Australian Alex de Minaur in an exhibition match at the Kooyang Classic. He later expressed his desire for a favorable result at Melbourne Park.
Instead, he faced up against Italian Berrettini, a semifinalist last year whose huge serving woes most opponents.
Britons Norrie & Draper make it to the semifinals
There is “no timetable” for Murray’s retirement.
What about the remaining British athletes?
Emma Raducanu stated this week that she is attempting “not to expect too much,” but she hopes to be in shape for the competition.
Raducanu, who stunned everyone by winning the 2021 US Open as a 16-year-old qualifier, experienced what she regarded as additional bad luck last week when she rolled an ankle in Auckland.
It raised questions about her ability to compete in Melbourne, but she has been working out on the court over the past three days, and each practice session seems to have improved the way she moves.
Although Raducanu, a 27-year-old German, is ranked one spot lower than Korspatch in the world, he has never prevailed in a major main-draw match.
While Dan Evans, the 25th seed, takes on Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis, Cameron Norrie, the highest-ranked player from Britain and the 11th seed, begins against French wildcard Luca van Assche.
Kyle Edmund, a semi-finalist in 2018 who is now recovering from three knee operations, was paired against Italian 15th seed Jannik Sinner in another challenging matchup for a British player.
The only other British player in the women’s draw, Harriet Dart, begins against Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, the 32nd seed.
Djokovic finds out his opponent upon returning
Djokovic, a nine-time winner, returns after winning the Adelaide championship last week. He missed last year’s competition after being deported from Australia amid a dispute with his immunization status.
The 35-year-old Serbian, who is also vying for a 22nd major trophy, which would tie Nadal’s record for men, has only dropped one of his previous 25 games.
Djokovic, who was seeded fourth, wouldn’t play Nadal until the championship round, but he might run into hometown favorite Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals.
Iga Swiatek, the top-ranked woman in the draw, will begin her match against Jule Niemeier of Germany, who just advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals after reaching the semifinals last year.
Another intriguing pairing has former champions Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Sofia Kenin of the United States against each other in the opening round.