Djokovic drawn against Serbian, qualifier first-up for Barty

Novak Djokovic will face a countryman in a quirky Australian Open first-round clash should the world No.1 avoid deportation as the visa saga drags closer to the start of the tournament.

Nine-time winner Djokovic, pursuing a record-breaking 21st major title, faces Serbian world No.78 Miomir Kecmanovic, 12 years his junior.

Novak Djokovic practices on Margaret Court Arena on Thursday.Credit:AP

There were mixed results for the Australian contingent, with women’s world No.1 Ashleigh Barty given a smooth entry into her campaign, drawing a qualifier in the first round.

Nick Kyrgios, too, has the fortune of meeting a qualifier in the Australian Open first round, but a potential clash against world No.2 Daniil Medvedev looms in the next round.

The news was hardly as promising for Barty’s doubles partner, Storm Sanders, after the Queenslander was dealt an opening match-up against world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka.

The men’s and women’s draw, originally set for 3pm, was postponed. It eventually got underway at 4.15pm on Thursday.

With the ongoing Djokovic visa saga forming the backdrop to the tournament countdown, there is high anticipation about whether the Serbian, world No.1 and top seed, is able to keep his spot in the field.

FIRST ROUND WOMEN’S MATCH-UPS

  • Ashleigh Barty versus qualifier
  • Sabalenka versus wildcard Storm Sanders
  • Iga Swiatek versus qualifier

MORE TO COME

Most Viewed in Sport

Source: Read Full Article