Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic in practice match before Australian Open

  • Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic in practice match before Australian Open

Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic in practice match before Australian Open

Australian Open organisers said the match on the Margaret Court Arena show court would be open to the public. The shock diagnosis came after Wozniacki had returned to number one and taken her WTA tour title tally to 30 with victories not only in Melbourne, but also Eastbourne and Beijing.

Murray's first tournament since September ended last week with a second-round defeat by Russian world number 16 Daniil Medvedev at the Brisbane International.

Federer, however, continues to defy the odds at 37 and prepared for his title defence with some convincing performances in the Hopman Cup in Perth last week. But the 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus has zoomed up the rankings from 73rd at the start of 2018 to number 11 on the back of tournament wins in New Haven and Wuhan, and is a dark horse to emulate Osaka and achieve a maiden Grand Slam.

Two of the older generation who have shown they do have that ability - Britain's Andy Murray and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka - could be unsafe floaters in the draw as they make their way back from injury-plagued seasons. The 17-time Grand Slam victor sensibly cut short his 2018 season after bookending it with another injury retirement in the US Open semi-final.

Caroline Wozniacki, who won her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne a year ago after a tough final against Halep, is in the same section as Maria Sharapova and has Petra Kvitova at the top of her quarter.

But Williams is in a tough half of the draw and could meet world number one Simona Halep in round four, and if she gets through that Karolina Pliskova in the last eight.

"I think that there will be a side note that Serena has a lot of passion and has at times lost her cool on the court, I don't for one minute think it will tarnish her whole reputation or her record".

Top-seeded Halep is without a coach after long-time Australian mentor Darren Cahill stepped down for family reasons, and described 2018 as "very emotional" but insisted it had made her mentally stronger. Williams is also playing in her first Australian Open since winning it in 2017. Yet she appears to have put the emotional turmoil experienced in NY behind her and is revelling in her status as standard bearer for the next generation of women's players. With that being said, there's a deep field of players that could unseat the two would-be record breakers for Australian Open titles.

Here are some of the key dates to know for the 2019 Australian Open.

The 21-year-old Japanese, however, had an inconsistent build up to the year's first grand slam.