Federer starts quest for Open title repeat against Slovenian

Sports | 12 Jan 2018

Roger Federer will start his Australian Open title defense against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene next week, while top seed Rafael Nadal, the losing finalist last year, was paired with Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos.

Women's top seed Simona Halep of Romania was drawn to face Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava in the first round, with second seed Caroline Wozniacki starting out against Halep's compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Serena Williams will not defend the title after giving birth to her first child last September but 2008 winner Maria Sharapova, who failed a drugs test at the tournament in 2016, is back unseeded after a ban and will face Tatjana Maria of Germany.

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic, seeded 14th after missing the back end of last season with an elbow injury, will take on American left-hander Donald Young. The Serb is in the same half of the draw as the 36-year-old Federer, who he could meet in the semi-finals.


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