Nadal looms as Aussie men cop draw shocker
Australian tennis stars Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur are facing almighty battles as they lift their eyes to the Australian Open, after the men’s and women’s singles draws were released today.Despite a knee injury suffered today, the unseeded Kyrgios should cruise past Frederico Ferreira Silva in the first round before a potentially more difficult task against 29th-ranked Ugo Humbert in the second.A win would then likely thrust Kyrgios into a clash with world No.3 Dominic Thiem in the third round.Meanwhile, de Minaur – Australia’s highest-ranked men’s player – will collide with 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal if they both advance to the fourth round.World No.1 Australian Ash Barty, on the other hand, has been handed a dream draw.The Queenslander will begin her pursuit of a second Grand Slam victory against Danka Kovinic and should breeze through the opening week of the Australian Open after avoiding most of the big names on her side of the draw.But she could then meet defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the semi-finals.A scan of the international draws shows world No.1 Novak Djokovic will face a tough ask as he hunts his third consecutive Australian Open and ninth overall, as three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka, big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic and former world No.3 Alexander Zverev are in his quarter.Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who’s just one title away from pushing clear of Roger Federer to steal the record, could meet world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals.Novak Djokovic responds in extraordinary fashion after taking the first set against Denis Shapovalov at the ATP Cup. (Getty)And legendary American Serena Williams, chasing a record 24 Grand Slam victories, has been drawn into the same quarter as world No.2 Simona Halep and the same half as triple Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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