WATCH: 5 Australian Open stories to follow
MELBOURNE, Australia – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will start his bid to win a record seventh Australian Open title next week.
The Serb had a magnificent 2018, making an astonishing climb back from outside the world's top 20 in June, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on the way to reclaiming the top ranking in November.
He will start his drive to make history against American qualifier Mitchell Krueger and could meet France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2nd round.
Champion Roger Federer, seeded 3 and also gunning for a seventh Melbourne title, starts his title defense against world No. 99 Denis Istomin and could meet Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
Serena Williams, meanwhile, has been handed a challenging draw in her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, starting with Germany's Tatjana Maria in the first round.
The American, seeded 16, is gunning to match Margaret Court's record of singles majors and claim an eighth Australian Open crown.
But Williams is in a tough half of the draw and could meet world No. 1 Simona Halep in round 4, and if she gets through that Karolina Pliskova in the last 8.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray also has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as he returns from a hip injury in the tournament, which he said, may likely be his last.
Watch other interesting sidelights as the Grand Slam season gets going! – Rappler.com
The extra mile
We are passionate about sports. Whether its a university, local, or international event, we aim to always to go above and beyond with our news, features, and analysis.
However, reader support powers our content. We ask you to take on the extra mile with us.
By joining Rappler PLUS, you will receive special editorial newsletters, industry reports, and invites to exclusive briefings.
But more than that, you will enable us to continue telling more stories.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.