(January 14, 2015) Friday morning in Melbourne defending Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams took part in the 2016 Australian Open draw ceremony, the first major tournament of the year.
On the men’s side of the draw, top seed Novak Djokovic, seeking his sixth “down under” major will open against youngster world No. 51 Hyeon Chung. Down the line in the draw, the 10-time major champion has the potential to meet 7th seed Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Roger Federer in the semifinals. On the other side of the men’s draw, the projected quarterfinal match-ups could be last year’s finalist, No. 2 Andy Murray against No. 8 David Ferrer and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka versus No. 5 Rafael Nadal.
Murray will begin his quest for a Melbourne title against German youngster Alexander Zverev. Other first round matches for the top seeds: Federer against No. 117th-ranked Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka versus veteran Dmitry Tursunov and Nadal will take on countryman Fernando Verdasco.
In the ladies draw, No. 1 Serena Williams faces No. 35 Camila Giorgi to begin her quest for a 7th Australian Open crown. No. 2 seed Simona Halep will open against a qualifier. Maria Sharapova, who is the No. 5 seed, could meet Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Williams could play friend and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16.
Eighth seed Venus Williams could play Halep in the final eight.
Other first round pairings include Sharapova versus No. 58 Nao Hibino. Third seed Garbine Muguruza will meet No. 86 Annett Kontaveit, No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska takes on American Christina McHale.