Andy Murray to face Bautista Agut in Australian Open first round

Kyle Edmund and Roger Federer

Kyle Edmund and Roger Federer

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.

Now seeded 16th, Williams was drawn into the same section Thursday as No. 1-ranked Simona Halep, the runner-up here a year ago.

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

World No 4 Alexander Zverev is in the same half and a blockbuster semi-final looms if both players advance that far.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will start his bid to win a record seventh Australian Open title next week against a qualifier following Thursday's draw.

The six-times Australian Open champion Federer, who beat Marin Cilic in last year's final, could meet the Croat in the quarter-finals, should the Swiss come through a potentially tricky fourth round against Greek prospect Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Federer has won the title the last two years and has an extra carrot having gone into the season on 99 career singles titles.

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.

Murray was drawn against Bautista Agut after struggling against Djokovic on the Margaret Court Arena.

Serena Williams will face Tatjana Maria in the first round, and could meet either Genie Bouchard or Peng Shaui in the second round.

Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who won her first Grand Slam title here previous year after a tough final against Halep, is in the same section as Maria Sharapova and has Petra Kvitova at the top of her quarter.

The fan, Australian teenager Jordyn Kollmorgen, posted that Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, was the inspiration behind her love for tennis.

The American great, beaten by Naomi Osaka in the 2018 U.S. Open final after a fiery tirade against the chair umpire, faces a tough run to the quarterfinals, with top seed and last year's finalist Simona Halep a possible fourth round encounter. "I'm just enjoying every minute of it".

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