Did Djokovic get easier Australian draw?

Jan. 11, 2013 at 8:56 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

MELBOURNE, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic's opponents in his quest for a third consecutive Australian Open could include either Roger Federer or Andy Murray but not both.

The draws for the 2013 Open, which begins Monday, were made Friday.

Djokovic, No. 1 in the world and the No. 1 seed, drew Paul-Henri Mathieu, against whom Djokovic is 4-1, in the first round.

The field is a little lighter this year because Rafael Nadal, who won the event in 2009 and dropped a five-set final to Djokovic last year, is out because of injury.

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray have won all of the last 12 and 30 of the last 31 Grand Slam titles (Juan Martin del Potro won the U.S. Open in 2009). Federer and Djokovic, who have each won three times, and Nadal have split the last seven Australian Open titles.

That upper-level domination makes the draw all the more interesting since, with Nadal out, one of other top three would only potentially face just one of the other top players. That edge fell to Djokovic this year as the third-seeded Murray was put in the same half of the draw as Federer, the world's No. 2-ranked player.

Djokovic does have fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych in his quarter of the draw and would likely see either fourth-seeded David Ferrer, No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic or 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the semifinals.

Murray, if the tournament plays to form, would face del Potro, seeded sixth, in the quarters. Federer's potential quarterfinal opponents include seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 9 Richard Gasquet.

Federer's first-round match is against Benoit Paire. They have met once with Federer winning 6-2, 6-2 last year. Murray opens against Robin Haase. Haase won their first meeting in 2008 and pushed Murray to five sets in the 2011 U.S. Open.

The 2013 Australian Open men's final is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories