Emma Raducanu beat Shelby Rogers during her run to the US Open title in 2021; 21-year-old can meet British No 1 Katie Boulter in the third round; Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka each draw their opening matches in Melbourne.
8:20, UK, Thursday 11 January 2024
Emma Raducanu will make her Grand Slam return to the Australian Open by meeting American Shelby Rogers in the first round in Melbourne.
Rogers is a familiar opponent with former US Open champion Raducanu, whom he beat in his famous match at Flushing Meadows in 2021.
The 21-year-old, who underwent wrist and ankle surgery last May, can play for his country and the British No 1. Katie Boulter in the third round if both go the furthest in the 2024 season-opening slam.
Raducanu was also successful in Auckland last week, pushing Elina Svitolina to three sets in the second round, but she is out of scheduled matches at Melbourne Park and the Kooyong Classic this weekend.
In the men’s draw, a three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray he is the only British player to draw a seed, as he is expected to face 30th-ranked Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina.
A five-time Melbourne champion, the 36-year-old Murray could face world No.1 and 24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic in the third round.
Who have other British players drawn?
British No. 1 Cam Norrie, who pulled out of his ASB Classic quarterfinal on Thursday with a wrist injury, is seeded 19th and will face Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, while the 22-year-old talent Jack Draper meets the American Marcos Giron and Dan Evans he plays for Italy Lorenzo Sonego.
Evans, whose best run at the Australian Open came in the fourth round in 2017, will face second seed Carlos Alcaraz in the second round if both win their openers.
Both British women’s entrants avoided seeding in the first round, Boulter drawing China’s Yuan Yue and Jodie Burrage against the German Tamara Korpatsch.
Two other Brits – Francesca Jones and Oliver Crawfordthe American-born player who has recently made the switch – could also be on the big screen in Melbourne by coming through the qualifiers.
What else stood out?
Protecting singles players Djokovic it opens its competition against the right, as well Aryna Sabalenkawho defeated Elena Rybakina in the women’s final last year.
The third seed Rybakina takes on former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the first round, while current world No. 1 Everyone Swiatek she has a tough opener against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin.
If Swiatek comes to that test, he will face two heroes Angelique Kerber – who is coming back after giving birth last year – or 2022 Danielle Collins runner in the second round.
Naomi Osaka, who if Kerber returns after having a child, makes her Grand Slam comeback against 16th seed Caroline Garcia. US Open champion Coco Gauff is fourth and will face Anna Karolína Schmiedlova in the first round.
Elsewhere in men’s art, Alcaraz he was drawn against French veteran Richard Gasquet, last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas He has a tough opener against former Melbourne semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini.
The third seed Daniel Medvedevdrawn in the same half as Alcaraz, starting against the qualifiers, is the fourth seed Jannik Sinner – Djokovic’s semi-final opponent – playing Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round.
Australia No 1 Alex de Minaur plays 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in his Melbourne opener.
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