Five Seeded Players Handed Most Brutal First-Round Draw At Australian Open

Five Seeded Players Handed Most Brutal First-Round Draw At Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

The countdown to the start of the 2024 Australian Open is almost over, and tennis fans will get a taste of Grand Slam action from January 14th with some selected first-round matches.

The draw for the 112th edition of the Australian Open has already been released, with a plethora of exciting matches headlining the first three days of the tournament.

There are a number of ways in which you can watch the action from Melbourne Park from the comfort of your home, and all that information is detailed in our television guide.

Additionally, the Top 32 seeds at the tournament have learned their paths to the title. But five names have received quite conceivably the toughest first-round draw, and those players are indicated below.

5. Alex De Minaur

It's been a long time since an Australian man won a home Slam. You would have to go back to 1976 to find out the last time it happened. But this year, there is every ounce of optimism that Alex de Minaur could rewrite the history books.

Coming to Melbourne at a career-high ranking of World No. 10 and on the back of a career-best win over Novak Djokovic at the United Cup, the "Demon" is poised for a Grand Slam breakthrough. But he's got a tricky opening match against big-serving Milos Raonic.

Although the Canadian is not the player he once was because of injuries, he has recovered his serve, which can take the match out of anyone's racket on a good day. De Minaur should be the favorite to edge this encounter but expect it to be close.

4. Iga Swiatek

A rematch from the 2020 French Open is what this year's Australian Open draw has thrown up. Iga Swiatek beat Sofia Kenin to win her first Grand Slam title almost four years ago, and since that match, both players' career trajectories have taken contrasting routes.

Swiatek has ascended to become the world's best player, while Kenin disappeared into the wilderness. But the American was crowned the Australian Open champion in 2020 not by accident but because of her stoicism and resilience. Kenin has been a rejuvenated player since the start of 2023, and the Pole will not treat her lightly.

3. Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina is one of the WTA's in-form players coming to the Australian Open and still has unfinished business in Melbourne after falling short of landing her second Grand Slam last season. But the Kazakh has drawn one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw.

Rybakina is slated to meet Karolina Pliskova, a former World No. 1 who has played in two Grand Slam finals in the past. While the head-to-head makes for pretty good reading for the 2022 Wimbledon champion, Pliskova will be determined to remind everyone that she is not a fallen giant.

2. Stefanos Tsitsipas

The pick of the men's first-round matches certainly features last year's finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas against former Top 10 player Matteo Berrettini. How this happened was solely due to the Italian's ranking going on a tailspin in 2023 due to injuries.

Berrettini entered this year's tournament unseeded. A fit Matteo Berrettini is a name capable of wreaking havoc in the draw. Not many people gave the Italian a punter's chance to do well at Wimbledon last year, and he managed to upset the applecart with victories over Alex de Minaur and Alexander Zverev.

1. Caroline Garcia

French WTA star Caroline Garcia has drawn the short straw, immediately taking on two-time Australian Open champion and former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka. Granted, Osaka is only just playing her second tournament since her maternity break, but it is still conceivably a tough draw any seed could have envisaged.

Garcia's struggles at the United Cup were evident as she needed a third-set tiebreak to defeat World No. 544 Malene Helgo of Norway. She is the most vulnerable seed who could be sent packing early.


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