MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Russian tennis player Karen Khachanov is set to face Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open, which has $44.5 million in prize money up for grabs and runs between January 14 and 27.
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The pairs for the opening round in men’s singles of this year’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament have been decided during the draw in Melbourne on Thursday.
Khachanov, 22, is seeded 10th at the tournament. The draw paired other Russian tennis players for the opening round of the 2019 Australian Open in the following order: Daniil Medvedev (seeded 15th) will face a qualifier; Evgeny Donskoy will play against Serbia’s Laslo Djere; Andrey Rublev will clash with Mackenzie McDonald of the United States.
The tournament’s top-seed and World’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who is the Australian Open six-time champion and aims this month for record-breaking 7th title, is facing a qualifier in the opening hurdle in Melbourne.
Second-seed Rafael Nadal of Spain, who won his sole Australian Open title ten years ago, will begin his journey in Melbourne playing in the opening round against home wildcard James Duckworth.
The two-time Australian Open defending champion from Switzerland, Roger Federer (3rd seed), is facing Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin. Although Istomin is currently ranked 99th in the world ratings, Federer will still be on guard after the 32-year-old player from Uzbekistan stunned six-time champion Djokovic in the 2nd round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Besides having six champion’s titles of the Australian Open tournaments, Federer has an impressive overall record of 99 titles and the tournament in Melbourne may end for him with a milestone result of 100 titles.
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Speaking at the draw ceremony and before learning about his 1st round opponent, Federer said “99 is already an incredible number.”
“I’m so close, I’ll give it a go. Every tournament I go to people might talk about it. Again, I’m not trying to look too far ahead,” the tournament’s official website quoted the 37-year-old Swiss player as saying.
“But if I made 100 at the Australian I’d take it, I’d gladly accept it and I’ll give it all I have,” Federer added.