- Australian Open draw formally released on Thursday
- Bad news for likes of Alex de Minaur & Ajla Tomljanovic
- Action begins at Melbourne Park on Sunday, January 14
Local hope Alex de Minaur will play former world number three Milos Raonic in the Australian Open first round after the draw was released at Melbourne Park on Thursday.
World number 10 de Minaur, 24, has avoided any potential early showdowns with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz – but still faces a treacherous path to progress deep into week two of the tournament.
Despite languishing at No.317 on the ATP rankings as he returns from injury, Raonic will pose a huge threat on court.
The 2016 Wimbledon finalist boasts one of the fiercest serves in tennis and is capable of throwing even the best players off their rhythm.
If de Minaur makes the quarter-finals of his home slam for the first time – after falling in the fourth round the past two years – he could run into Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner.
Local hope Alex de Minaur will play explosive Canadian Milos Raonic in the Australian Open first round in a huge danger game for the 24-year-old
Raonic was a 2016 Wimbledon men’s singles finalist and a former world No.3 who is on the comeback trail from injury
Wildcard recipient and world number 195 Daria Saville takes on Poland’s Magdalena Frech to open her campaign at her home Grand Slam
But he’s not projected to run into world No.1 and 10-time Melbourne Park champion Novak Djokovic until the semi-finals.
Elsewhere, Alexei Popyrin takes on Marc Polmans in an all-Australian affair, Chris O’Connell plays Chile’s Cristian Garin and James Duckworth will line up against French rising star Luca Van Assche.
Jordan Thompson is expected to beat fellow countryman Aleksandar Vukic, while Thanasi Kokkinakis and Max Purcell are also favoured to reach the second round.
Jason Kubler, Adam Walton, James McCabe and Rinky Hijikata have all drawn seeded players.
Of the leading Australian women, three-time grand slam quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic will play Petra Martic in the first round.
If Tomljanovic wins, a match-up with either 11th seed Jelena Ostapenko or Australian Kimberly Birrell awaits.
Wildcard recipient Daria Saville takes on Poland’s Magdalena Frech and could then meet either two-time champion Naomi Osaka or 16th seed Caroline Garcia in the second round.
Gold Coast raised Olivia Gadecki takes on Sloane Stephens and Perth teenager Taylah Preston will play 19th seed Elina Svitolina.
Top ranked Australian star Arina Rodionova won’t feature in the women’s draw after the world no.105 was beaten in qualifying.