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Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer earn tough draws at Australian Open


AP

Published 8:20 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic drew a difficult first-round opponent in Fernando Verdasco, and Roger Federer’s fall in the rankings complicated his chances at Melbourne Park after he ended up in same quarter as top-ranked Andy Murray, No. 5 Kei Nishikori and No. 10 Tomas Berdych.

The official draw for the season’s first major was held Friday and delivered an awkward opponent for second-seeded Djokovic. Verdasco had an upset win over fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the first round here last year, and had five match points before losing to Djokovic in the semifinals at Doha last week.

Six-time women’s champion Serena Williams, aiming for an Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, drew a challenging first-round opponent in Belinda Bencic and also had No. 9 Johanna Konta, No. 17 Caroline Wozniacki…

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