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Djokovic faces qualifier at Open, Federer takes on Istomin

AFP  |  Melbourne 

World number one will start his bid to win a record seventh next week against a following Thursday's draw.

The Serb had a magnificent 2018, making an astonishing climb back from outside the world's top 20 in June, winning and on the way to reclaiming the number one ranking in November.

He will start his drive to make history against a yet-to-be-decided and could meet France's in the second round.

Champion Roger Federer, seeded three and also gunning for a seventh title, starts his title defence against world number 99 and could meet in the semi-finals.

"He (Djokovic) continues to challenge me. I played him in his prime when he was virtually unbeatable. It was important not to get frustrated by it. I always enjoy my matches against him," 20-time winner Federer said at the draw.

"We are both natural attacking players. We are aggressive. He is up there with Nadal and Hewitt they make me rethink my game. I like to play attacking tennis, so I've come full circle."

Second seeded Nadal begins against Australian James Duckworth, fourth seed faces Slovenian Aljaz Bedene while last year's runner-up has a tricky encounter with Australian

A highlight first round clash will see Australia's unseeded up against Canada's big-serving 16th seed Milos Raonic, with the winner facing either or

Three-time winner has a tough clash with 22nd-seeded Spaniard as he returns from a

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 15:50 IST