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Murray avoids Djokovic and Federer until final of Australian Open

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 15, 2016

Andy Murray has finally avoided being drawn in the same half as Novak Djokovic for the upcoming 2016 Australian Open men’s singles, although that was to be expected given his world number two ranking.

Luckily for the Scot, he will also not face Roger Federer unless both make it through to the final, meaning Murray’s odds of 6/4 with Coral to reach that stage are highly enticing.

The British number one has been drawn with a familiar foe, in German teenage giant Alexander Zverev who he recently beat 6-3 6-4 in the Hopman Cup.

Tennis - Hopman Cup - Perth Arena

Title second-favourite Murray (5/1) is odds-on at 1/33 to beat Zverev, and a more enticing 1/3 to do so in straight sets.

Murray’s possible opponents

  • 1st round: Alexander Zverev
  • 2nd round: Sam Groth
  • 3rd round: Joao Sousa (32)
  • 4th round: Bernard Tomic (16)
  • Quarters: David Ferrer
  • Semis: Stan Wawrinka/Rafael Nadal
  • Final: Novak Djokovic/Roger Federer

British men in action

Tennis - 2015 Wimbledon Championships - Preview Day Two - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Other male Brits in action include Aljaz Bedene and Kyle Edmund in the main draw, while Dan Evans has to come through a qualifying match against former French Open Junior winner Bjorn Fratangelo.

Slovenian-born Bedene will be aiming to get past the Australian Open first round for the first time after missing out the previous three years, and he has been handed a tie with American Steve Johnson, who he is 5/4 to defeat.

Yorkshireman Edmund (4/11 odds-on favourite), meanwhile, is up against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur and should he win, could set himself up a rematch with David Goffin, who recently beat the Brit in the Davis Cup final after going 2-0 down.

Crunch clashes galore

Tennis - ATP Masters Series tennis tournament - Final - Monte-Carlo

Elsewhere in the men’s section, top seed and defending champion Djokovic will face exciting South Koran teenager Chung Hyeon and Federer takes on Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.

While, Nadal has been drawn against fellow left-handed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in a clash between compatriots, while Stan Wawrinka duels with Dmitry Tursunov, who was famously the last person Tim Henman beat on tour back in the 2007 US Open.

Other tasty first round battles include Gilles Simon v Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Marcos Baghdatis, Philipp Kohlschreiber v Kei Nishikori, Ernests Gulbis v Jeremy Chardy and Jerzy Janowicz v John Isner.

Watson and Konta handed differing draws

Tennis - 2015 US Open - Day Two - Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

In the women’s singles, 10/3 title favourite Serena Williams kicks off her title defence against Italian Camila Giorgi, second seed Simona Halep (9/1) goes up against a qualifier and former double champion Victoria Azarenka (7/2) has been handed Alison Van Uytvanck.

Just two Brits have made it to the main draw this year, and the higher Johanna Konta faces a tough test against seven-time Grand Slam-winning Venus Williams.

Heather Watson will be heavily favoured to beat Hungarian Tímea Babos, but will meet one of Swiss sensation Belinda Bencic or Alison Riske in the second round.

Related

Check out more in our tennis archive, ahead of the 2016 Australian Open.

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