Federer, Djokovic drawn in same half for Australian Open

NY Daily News Sports 13 days ago

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Roger Federer has been drawn in the same half of the Australian Open as six-time winner Novak Djokovic, who is returning from an elbow injury and is seeded 14th.

Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the final here last year on his return from six months on the sidelines and is seeded No. 2 as he bids for a 20th Grand Slam singles title.

Top-ranked Nadal will open against Victor Estrella Burgos, has a potential fourth-round match against John Isner, and has No. 3-ranked Grigor Dimitrov in the same half of the draw, which was held on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena.

Defending men's singles champion Switzerland's Roger Federer poses for a photo with his trophy during a ceremony for the official draw at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Serena Williams has opted not to defend her title four months after giving birth to her first child, leaving the women's draw open.

Venus Williams, who lost the all-Williams final last year, has a tough opener against Belinda Bencic and is also in the same quarter as U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens.

Defending men's singles champion Switzerland's Roger Federer waves to the crowd during a ceremony for the official draw at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Top-ranked Simona Halep is in the same half as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who has a difficult quarter containing former Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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