January 12, (THEWILL) – The Australian Open draw was revealed on Thursday afternoon, setting up some highly anticipated match-ups for the tournament’s opening rounds.
Defending champion, Rafael Nadal, will face a tough test in his first match against British lefty Jack Draper, a 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor. Draper, who has already earned two Top 10 wins at just 21 years old, is currently competing in the semi-finals of the Adelaide International 2.
If Nadal manages to advance past Draper, he will likely face one of two Americans in the second round: Mackenzie McDonald or reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion, Brandon Nakashima. Additionally, seventh seed Daniil Medvedev, who made back-to-back finals at the Australian Open in 2021 and 2022, could potentially await Nadal in the quarterfinals.
In the bottom half of the draw, nine-time champion, Novak Djokovic and Australian Nick Kyrgios, find themselves in the same quarter. Kyrgios, seeded 19th, could face ninth seed Holger Rune, in the third round and fifth seed Andrey Rublev, in the fourth round before a quarterfinal showdown against Djokovic. Rublev will start his tournament with a blockbuster match against his close friend and former World number three, Dominic Thiem.
Other notable match-ups include 16th seed Frances Tiafoe, who upset Nadal at the US Open in 2021, as a potential fourth-round opponent for the lefty, and 13th seed Matteo Berrettini, opening against former World number one, Andy Murray. The winner of that match will go on to face either home favourite, Thanasi Kokkinakis or Italian automaker, Fabio Fognini.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.