Chinese Wang Qiang seeded 21st at Australian Open

Chinese Wang Qiang seeded 21st at Australian Open

Murray is playing in Australia under his protected ranking of world number two, which is used to help players who have suffered long-term injuries.

Chinese top tennis player Wang Qiang is the 21st seed at the Australian Open on Thursday as Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep led the men's and women's singles seeding lists respectively.

Federer's first-round test comes in the shape of Istomin, an Uzbek whom Federer has defeated in each of their six meetings, and they are in the same quarter of the draw as Andy Murray, who is unseeded and meets Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut first up.

Men's second seed Rafael Nadal opens against Australian James Duckworth, fourth seed Alexander Zverev starts against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, and last year's runner-up Marin Cilic plays another local in Bernard Tomic.

Roger Federer, aiming for his third successive Australian Open title and seventh overall, will play Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.

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Kyle Edmund, back at the scene of his semi-final appearance 12 months ago, was also given a hard opener at the year's first grand slam against former top-10 stalwart Tomas Berdych, who is unseeded following injury. If it would happen defending this title, I would gladly accept it.

Andy Murray has offered a supportive fan free tickets to his opening match of the Australian Open as an apology for being thrashed by Novak Djokovic on Thursday. Among those looking to halt Serena's charge: world number one Simona Halep, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and US Open victor Naomi Osaka.

Wozniacki finally broke her grand slam duck 12 months ago but struggled through the rest of 2018 before revealing a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. "I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back".

This year's edition of the season's opening Grand Slam in Melbourne Park begins Monday. For me it's just taking it day by day, doing the right things, taking even better care of my body.

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