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Updated January 11th, 2024 at 17:13 IST

Australian Open: Iga Swiatek faces past champions early; Novak Djokovic, Tsitsipas could meet in Q/F

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek will face 2020 champion Sofia Kenin in the first round and potentially 2016 winner Angelique Kerber or Danielle Collins in the second in a tough start to her bid for a first Australian Open title.

Iga Swiatek tops Aryna Sabalenka at the WTA Finals
Iga Swiatek is the top-seed at Australian Open 2024 | Image:AP
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Top-ranked Iga Swiatek will face 2020 champion Sofia Kenin in the first round and potentially 2016 winner Angelique Kerber or Danielle Collins in the second in a tough start to her bid for a first Australian Open title.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic’s bid for a record-extending 11th Australian Open title could include a third-round match against Andy Murray and a quarterfinal against No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas, the runner-up last year.

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The draws to determine singles brackets were held Thursday, with the return of former champions Naomi Osaka, Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki to Melbourne Park after maternity breaks resulting in some high-pressure opening rounds.

Osaka, who has won the Australian Open and U.S. Open titles twice, opens against No. 16 Caroline Garcia and is in the same quarter of the draw as U.S. Open winner Coco Gauff.

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Three-time major winner Kerber will open against Collins, who beat Swiatek in the semifinals here in 2022 on her way to the final. That was Swiatek’s best run at the Australian Open so far.

Wozniacki, the 2018 champion, will meet 2023 semifinalist and 20th-seeded Magda Linette in the first round, while defending champion Aryna Sabalenka opens against a qualifier.

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Possible women's quarterfinals could be: No. 1 Swiatek vs. No. 7 Marketa Vondrousova, and No. 3 Elena Rybakina vs. No. 5 Jessica Pegula on the top half; No. 2 Sabalenka vs. No. 6 Ons Jabeur, and No. 4 Gauff vs. No. 8 Maria Sakkari on the bottom half..

As well as the potential 2023 final rematch between Djokovic and Tsitsipas, other quarterfinals could be: No. 4 Jannik Sinner vs. No. 5 Andrey Rublev in the top half; No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No 6 Alexander Zverev, and No. 3 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 8 Holger Rune on the bottom half.

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Published January 11th, 2024 at 16:13 IST

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