Home Advantage Counts For Nothing In Australian Open Draw
The Australian Open draw was announced on Thursday evening, and there are a few Aussies in for a particularly tough start.
Nick Kygrios and Bernard Tomic -- who both go into this tournament unseeded -- face a baptism of fire when the Australian Open starts in Melbourne next week.
The two will play in potentially the blockbuster matches of the first round -- Tomic will be facing the sixth seeded Croatian, Marin Čilić, while Kyrgios will face off against the big serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who is seeded 16.
Both players are looking to kick start their seasons at the Open after falling out of favour with the Australian public following lacklustre performances and attitude problems.
Should they get their past their first round opponents, they won't meet another seeded player until at least the third round, although this doesn't mean much. Kyrgios could face former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the second round.
Giant-slaying John Millman, a fan favourite after beating Roger Federer at the US Open last year, has been dealt a good hand in the first round but that is where his luck runs out.
If he were to make it through to the second round he will either face the Argentinian 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut -- or Andy Murray.
But it's poor James Duckworth who has had the worst luck in the draw -- he's facing world number two Rafael Nadal in his first match.
And should Nadal make his way through to the third round, there is a good chance he'll meet the highest ranking Australian men's player, Alex de Minaur (should he get through his first two opponents as well, of which neither will be seeded).
There's still a waiting game for Thanasi Kokkonakis to see if he will earn a spot in the Open. He'll be on the long road through qualifiers this week.
On the flip side, the Australian women have had a little bit more luck in their first round match ups.
Australia's highest ranked player, Ash Barty, comes into the tournament as the 15th seed, and will play the relatively unknown Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand.
Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova are also up against unseeded players, taking on Dayana Yastremska and Tamara Zidansek respectively.
Although should Gavrilova progress, she'll up against reigning US Open champ Naomi Osaka in the second round.
Ajla Tomlanovic has been dealt a tough hand, up against the Australian-born Brit Johanna Konta, who had a magic run to the semi-finals back in 2016 but struggled with form throughout 2018.
Four wildcards have been given to Australian women, and for two of them the draw has been kind.
Kimberly Birrell and Priscilla Hon have both drawn wildcard opponents for their first round.
Ellen Perez will face off against China's Yafan Wang, while Destanee Aiava has drawn the short straw for the Aussie women, and will play the 17th seed Madison Keys.
Qualifiers will take place throughout this week, with the main draw kicking off on Monday.
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