Andy Murray Novak Djokovic ATP head to head

Australian Open draw: Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic on collision course

Novak Djokovic will start his Australian Open defence against a qualifier, although he could meet former foe Andy Murray in the third round.

Djokovic is chasing an unprecedented 25th Grand Slam title in Melbourne, a tournament that he has won more than any other.

He should get a comfortable start, although Alexei Popyrin and Murray, two of the Serbian’s best friends in tennis, could await in rounds two and three respectively.

Before that could happen, though, Murray would have to get past Tomas Martin Etcheverry. That quarter of the draw also features a round one blockbuster of former Grand Slam finalists Matteo Berrettini versus Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Carlos Alcaraz will start off against tricky French veteran Richard Gasquet before playing either Dan Evans of Lorenzo Sonego in the second round.

The Spaniard’s quarter is generally quite kind though, certainly until a potential quarterfinal meeting with Alexander Zverev. Daniil Medvedev, who starts against a qualifier, could lie in wait in the semi-finals. That leaves Jannik Sinner as the potential semi-final opponent for Djokovic.

Other popcorn matches in the men’s first round include Alex de Minaur against Milos Raonic, Felix Auger-Aliassime versus Dominic Thiem, Frances Tiafoe against Borna Coric and Roberto Bautista Agut facing Ben Shelton.

Emma Raducanu gets kind Australian Open draw

The women’s draw is a fascinating one given the number of returning big names, one of them being Emma Raducanu.

Raducanu has been out of action for months following surgery on both wrists and an ankle, but the draw has been kind and she has avoided any of the top players in the first round.

The 2021 US Open winner will begin against Shelby Rogers in Elena Rybakina’s quarter of the draw.

That does make world number one Iga Swiatek a potential semi-final opponent, but the Pole will start with a clash of major winners against Sofia Kenin.

The draw wasn’t quite so kind to Naomi Osaka, though. She is returning to tennis after a break to become a mother, but she will not have the luxury of easing herself into the tournament having been paired with Caroline Garcia.

It has landed her in a relatively favourable quarter if she can get through that first test, however. Coco Gauff and Maria Sakkari could await Osaka in the second week, as could Caroline Wozniacki, who will start her tournament against Magda Linette.

Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka will start against a qualifier, as will Ons Jabuer in the same quarter.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.