Nadal faces tough challenge in first round, easy path for Djokovic | sports | Hindustan Times
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Nadal faces tough challenge in first round, easy path for Djokovic

World number one Rafael Nadal will play rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in the opening round of the Australian Open here.

sports Updated: Jan 11, 2014 02:41 IST

World number one Rafael Nadal will play rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in the opening round of the Australian Open here.

The Spaniard, who won the tournament in 2009 and missed last year’s opening Grand Slam through injury, faces a testing first round encounter against the world number 52.

In the draw made here on Friday, Nadal was seeded to face Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters.

Serbia’s world number two Novak Djokovic, bidding for his fifth Australian crown and fourth in a row, was drawn to face Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the last eight. Djokovic must first play Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in the opening round in the bottom half of the men’s draw.

Britain’s three-time runner-up Andy Murray was seeded to face 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals in the top half.

aiming high

In the women’s draw, world number one Serena Williams faces a potential semi-final with China’s Li Na.

Williams, who could equal Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles with victory at Melbourne Park, will play Australian Ashleigh Barty first up. The American, a five-time Australian Open champion, is seeded to face Italy’s seventh seed Sara Errani in the quarters before a potential semi-final clash with fourth-seeded Li.