Australian Open draw blockbusters: Kyrgios destined for Djokovic, Berrettini cops Murray


The Australian Open 2023 draw didn’t fail to disappoint with exciting matches littered across the first round and blockbuster potential match-ups to come later in the tournament.

Two former Australian Open champions will meet straight up in the women’s draw, while a men’s contender runs into a multiple Grand Slam winner.

It’s not going to be easy for favourite Novak Djokovic to win a 10th title at Melbourne Park with an Australian duo lurking. 

While world No.1 Iga Swiatek will have to win several big matches early to have a chance at claiming the Australian Open for a first time.

The Sporting News lists some of the contests and potential matches tennis fans have to look forward to up until the quarter-finals.

MORE: Australian Open draw 2023: Nadal and Kyrgios in tough spots, Świątek to be challenged

First round

Sofia Kenin (USA) vs [24] Victoria Azarenka

Two former Australian Open champions meeting in the first round? Yes please.

Kenin, who won at Melbourne Park in 2020, hasn’t been able to replicate her form from that year, where she also reached the French Open final – with a current ranking of 149.

Azarenka clinched two consecutive Australian Open titles between 2012-13 and is still ranked inside the top 25 in the world.

And the winner will have a match-up against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.

[13] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) vs Andy Murray [GBR]

A future Grand Slam winner against a legend who has won multiple majors.

Berrettini reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open last year, falling short to a resurgent Rafael Nadal.

Murray, 35, is now a certified veteran who is hitting Melbourne Park in good form, defeating Alex de Minaur at Kooyong.

However, he hasn’t been past the third round of a Slam since 2017.

Matteo Berrettini

[5] Andrey Rublev vs Dominic Thiem [SUI]

First round matches for a seed don’t get much tougher than a competitor who won the US Open in 2020.

Rublev will be hoping to make it past the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam for a first time.

Thiem has been slowly building his fitness and form back after suffering crippling injuries in the past couple of years.

He did beat Frances Tiafoe in straight sets at Kooyong – underlining his return to form.

Second round

Emma Raducanu (GBR) vs [7] Coco Gauff (USA)

Last year’s French Open finalist Coco Gauff could have a potential banana skin in the second round in the form of Emma Raducanu.

The Brit won the US Open in 2021 without losing a set but has struggled to perform at a high level since.

Third round

[19] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs [9] Holger Rune (DEN)

Two potential Grand Slam winners squaring off early in the tournament – what more can you ask for?

Kyrgios came of age in 2022, reaching the Wimbledon final, and also going deep at the US Open.

Rune made the quarter-finals at the French Open and also won the Paris Masters.

Nick Kyrgios US Open

Getty Images

[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) vs Bianca Andreescu (CAN)

The world No.1 is not going to have an easy path to her first Australian Open title.

Waiting in the third round is US Open 2019 champion Andreescu, while Wimbledon 2022 winner Elena Rybakina could be a hurdle in the fourth round.

Quarter-finals

[19] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs [4] Novak Djokovic [SRB]

A rematch of the Wimbledon final – what a contest this would be.

The two are also playing in a practice match prior to the Australian Open beginning.

Djokovic would be the heavy favourite but we know Kyrgios is capable of anything.

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