All eyes will be on the lone Indian in the men's singles draw when Australian Open 2020 action gets underway at Melbourne Park on Monday, January 20.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran crashed out in the final round of qualifying, losing to Ernests Gulbis in straight sets. However, he has been handed a lifeline with the withdrawals of Alex de Minaur and Kamil Majchrzak, as well as the suspension to Nicolas Jarry, and will feature in the main draw as a lucky loser.
Prajnesh will lock horns with Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito in the opening round - a clash the Indian is expected to come through with flying colours.
The World No. 122 looked solid in qualifying, easing past Harry Bourchier and Yannick Hanfmann before putting up a stern fight against Gulbis. However, he was hampered by an arm injury which he would hope to shake off ahead of his opening encounter.
Prajnesh has never been beyond the first round of a Grand Slam but this could represent his best opportunity yet.
Ito, who is ranked 22 spots lower than the Indian, enters this contest on the back of a disappointing outing in Auckland, where he failed to make any inroads, losing to Michael Mmoh in qualifying.
However, he has enjoyed relatively more success at the Grand Slam level than Prajnesh, having made the second round of the Australian Open back in 2012 and 2013.
Ito does not have too many weapons though, preferring instead to grind it out from the back of the court which could work in Prajnesh's favor as the Indian will be keen to dictate play from the baseline.
The two have never squared off in the past and this match possesses all the ingredients of a classic first-round encounter.
Here is all you need to know about the Australian Open 2020 Schedule:
Tournament Name: Australian Open 2020
Date: January 20 - February 2, 2020
Category: Grand Slam
Location: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Surface: Hard Court
Prize Money: A$ 71,000,000
Time: [LL] Prajnesh Gunneswaran vs [WC] Tatsuma Ito on Court 12 at approx 11:00 a.m IST on January 20, 2020
Where to watch Australian Open 2020?
USA - ESPN and ESPN2
UK and Europe - Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, Eurosport 1 HD and Eurosport 2 HD
India - Sony Six, Sony Ten 2, Sony Six HD and Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony Ten 3 (matches with Hindi commentary)
Live Stream details for Australian Open 2020
Australian Open 2020 live stream will be available on Tennis TV (a subscription is needed for the service).
Matches can be streamed live on SonyLiv.Published 19 Jan 2020, 19:00 IST