Australian Open: Five intriguing match-ups from first round
Last Updated: 15/01/19 1:25pm
There are some intriguing match-ups at the Australian Open so we've selected five of the best you must keep an eye on.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray
An already intriguing match took on an added edge after a tearful Andy Murray admitted on Friday that he didn't know how many more games he had in him.
Having admitted that he was planning to retire at Wimbledon, the former world no 1 conceded that his hip injury might not let him get that far so all eyes will be on Melbourne Arena, where a ground pass will be like gold dust for what could be Murray's last stand.
As an unseeded player, the Scot was left to the luck of the draw and his luck was out. Spaniard Bautista Agut, seeded 22nd, won the title in Doha last week, beating Novak Djokovic along the way, and his relentless baseline game will give Murray's a thorough workout.
Kyle Edmund vs Tomas Berdych
As the 13th seed, Edmund would have hoped for a kind draw, but he was also unfortunate. Last year's semi-finalist will face former major finalist Berdych, whose ranking has dropped to 57 after back problems saw him miss the second half of last season.
Nick Kyrgios vs Milos Raonic
Kyrgios' poor results have caused the Australian's ranking to plummet outside the top 50, making him one of the key unseeded floaters in the draw. His name landed next to 16th seed Raonic, a former semi-finalist in Melbourne.
Simona Halep vs Kaia Kanepi
Halep goes into the tournament as world No 1 and last year's beaten finalist but the Romanian is also on a five-match losing streak, including a first-round loss to big-hitting Estonian Kanepi at the US Open.
Sloane Stephens vs Taylor Townsend
Stephens' last six Grand Slams have yielded one title, one final, one quarter-final and three first-round exits, which rather sums up the fifth seed's unpredictability. In the first round here she takes on one of the most stylish players in the draw in fellow American Taylor Townsend.
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