Tough AO draws for Kyrgios, De Minaur, Tomic
Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have drawn Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic respectively in the first round at Melbourne Park, while Alex De Minaur could face Rafael Nadal in the last 32.
Nick Kyrgios has received an extremely tough Australian Open draw as a result of being unseeded at a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than three years.
Kyrgios, down to No.51 in the rankings, will play 2016 Wimbledon finalist and former world No.3 Milos Raonic in an explosive first round at Melbourne Park.
If he gets past the 16th seed, he could face 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, another dangerous floater in this year’s devilish draw, with world No.4 Alexander Zverev Kyrgios’s projected last-16 opponent.
Australian men’s No.1 Alex De Minaur looks to have a much smoother path to the second round, the 27th seed opening against Portugal’s Pedro Sousa.
But De Minaur – a semifinalist this week in Sydney – could run into world No.2 Rafael Nadal as early as round three.
Nadal opens his bid for an 18th major title against Australian Open Play-off winner James Duckworth.
Like Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic also has a brutal opener against last year’s runner-up, Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic.
Australian No.2 John Millman plays Argentine Federico Delbonis for a shot at either Andy Murray or 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut, while third-ranked Aussie Matt Ebden takes on Jan Lennard Struff; Nadal looms as a potential second-round opponent.
Jordan Thompson takes on Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez in round one.
Wildcards Jason Kubler, Marc Polmans, Alex Bolt and Alexei Popyrin open against Thomas Fabbiano, Denis Kudla, Jack Sock and Mischa Zverev respectively.