Australian Open: Federer to face Istomin, Djokovic to meet qualifier

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Andy Murray suffered a blow ahead of the Australian Open when he ended a practice match with Novak Djokovic early after winning just two games.

Alex de Minaur, the only Australian men's seed in the draw at number 27, opens against Pedro Sousa, while other prominent first-round matchups for the locals include John Millman against Federico Delbonis, and Nick Kyrgios in a mouth-watering encounter against big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, the 16th seed.

Aiming for a third consecutive Australian championship, a 21st Grand Slam crown and a 100th career singles title, Federer will open against Denis Istomin.

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The draw for the first grand slam of the year took place on Thursday, where the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal all learned what their potential path to the trophy would look like.

Eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who opened the season with a title in Brisbane, is a potential quarterfinal rival and No. 4 Alexander Zverev looms as a semifinal opponent if both players advance that far.

Murray opens against No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut.

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With world number five Juan Martin del Potro missing through injury, South Africa's Kevin Anderson is elevated to fifth seed with last year's beaten finalist Marin Cilic at six.

In an interview to The Times of India, the three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka commented on the Big Three's dominance.

"I can't believe it's been a year already", Dane Wozniacki said at the draw ceremony.

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Second-seeded Angelique Kerber, who won the Australian and U.S. Opens in 2016 and added the Wimbledon title previous year, is in the same half as Wozniacki and has 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in her quarter.

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