Djokovic, Murray drawn to meet in the final
World number one Novak Djokovic and his US Open conqueror Andy Murray have been put in separate halves of the men’s singles draw at the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on Monday.
In the official draw made Friday, Djokovic faces a potential semi-final against Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, while 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer could face world number three Murray in the last four.
Djokovic, bidding for a hat-trick of Australian Open victories after downing Rafael Nadal in a titanic five-set final last year, will start his defence against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Second seed Federer, bidding for his fifth Australian title, begins his Melbourne campaign against Frenchman Benoit Paire, while Murray takes on Dutchman Robin Haase first up.
World number one Victoria Azarenka and 15-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams were pitted in the same half of the women’s singles draw. Azarenka, who broke through for her first major title in beating Maria Sharapova in last year’s Melbourne final, faces a tough task to defend her crown with a potential semi-final against the American great.
Second seed Sharapova has Polish world number four Agnieszka Radwanska in her bottom half of the draw.
The Belarusian Azarenka will open her title defence against Romania’s Monica Niculescu while five-time Australian Open champion Williams takes on Edina Gallovits-Hall first up.
Sharapova, who pulled out of the lead-in Brisbane International tournament with a collarbone problem, gets her campaign underway against Olga Puchkova.AFP