Morning Roundup: Djokovic, Halep top seeds for Australian Open

Paul Annacone 'Roger Federer's environment is complex'

Paul Annacone 'Roger Federer's environment is complex'

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

Champion Roger Federer, seeded three and also gunning for a seventh Melbourne title, starts his title defence against world No 99 Denis Istomin and could meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Andy Murray will make his return to the Australian Open with a tough first-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut.

Third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, who won her first Grand Slam title here a year ago after a tough final against Halep, is in the same section as Maria Sharapova and has Petra Kvitova at the top of her quarter. He has the potential of a second-round meeting against wildcard entry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Murray, who is coming back from a long-term hip injury, won just two games against world No. 1 Djokovic during the practice match, which finished incomplete at 6-1, 4-1 and was played in front of a sizeable crowd at the Margaret Court Arena.

It will be the first time for Wang to head into a Grand Slam as a seeded player.

Serena Williams, who is seeded 16th, faces fellow mother Tatjana Maria of Germany in her first competitive match since her tempestuous US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka.

"I can't believe it's been a year already", Dane Wozniacki said at the draw ceremony. Halep has drawn another first-round against Kaia Kanepi, who beat her at the same stage at last year's U.S. Open, and a possible third rounder against unseeded Venus Williams.

"To finally get that (title) here was so special, it's the happy slam".

Defending champion Wozniacki, who broke through for her maiden Grand Slam title with victory over Halep in last year's final, is in line to face former victor Maria Sharapova in a mouth-watering third round showdown.

Second seed and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, bidding for a fourth Grand Slam title, will open against Slovenian Polona Hercog, with a possible quarter-final against 2017 U.S. Open victor Sloane Stephens in the second week.

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