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2015 Australian Open draw: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in the same half

The 2015 Australian Open draw sees arch rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same half.

SENIOR ANALYST
News 16 Jan 2015, 11:56 IST
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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are drawn in the same half

Roger Federer has a tricky draw

The draw for the first Grand Slam of 2015 is out and there are plenty of exciting matches to look forward to over the next two weeks in Melbourne.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are drawn in the same half yet again and the fans would settle for nothing less than a semifinal clash between the arch rivals. Federer opens his campaign against Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu. The likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Ivo Karlovic, Tommy Robredo and Andy Murray are in Federer’s quarter and it looks like a tough road for the Swiss Maestro to add to his 17 Majors.

Federer started off the season in the best possible way, winning the Brisbane Open and recording his 1000th win on the ATP tour. Nadal on the other hand is coming off an injury layoff and lost in the first round to Michael Berrer in Doha. The Spaniard will face Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the first round. If the 9-time French Open champion gets past the Russian, he has a relatively easy passage to the quarters with only Ernests Gulbis and Kevin Anderson posing threat along the way.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray starts off against a qualifier and is poised to take on 2014 ATP Comeback player of the year David Goffin in the fourth round.

Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic have played incredible matches in Melbourne in the past

Another Wawrinka-Djokovic clash?

Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka , four time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Brisbane finalist Milos Raonic and US Open runner up Kei Nishikori feature in the top half of the draw.

Wawrinka is high on confidence after successfully defending his Chennai Open title. He opens against Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan and can see himself in the last eight without much of a difficulty.

Djokovic starts his campaign against a qualifier and could face 2009 Australian Open semifinalist Fernando Verdasco in the third round. The big serving John Isner or Roberto Bautista Agut could face the World No. 1 in the fourth round. Raonic will face a qualifier in the first round. Gael Monfils and Feliciano Lopez seem to be the only two who can stop the Canadian from reaching the last eight.

Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori will take on Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the first round. A fourth round meeting with another Spaniard David Ferrer is on the cards for Nishikori. Fans can expect a repeat of the last year’s US Open quarterfinal between Nishikori and Wawrinka in Melbourne.

It will be interesting to see if familiar names rule the roost in Melbourne or a new champion  will be crowned.

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