Pakistani President Receives Visiting Shura's Speaker    Iran Threatens the entire Region, its Aggression can no Longer be Tolerated -Al-Jubeir Says    Al-Jada Health Center Continues Providing Treatment Services to Beneficiaries in Hajjah Governorate, Yemen, with Support of KSrelief    Tadawul Announces Listing Date for Saudi Aramco    Saudi Aramco Announces Offering Size, Final Offer Price of its Shares    Business Council Leads Delegation of U.S. Aviation, Airport Officials to Saudi Arabia    KSrelief Voluntary Medical Campaign to Combat Blindness Conducts 51 Surgeries in Morocco    First G20 Sherpa Meeting Held in Riyadh    Finance Track of the Saudi Arabian G20 Presidency Opens with ‘Enhancing Access to Opportunities' Symposium    Wall Street Closing    Saudi Arabia Beats Qatar to Reach Arabian Gulf Cup Final    Asian Shares Mixed    Wall Street Closing    Successful Artificial Heart Transplant Surgery, done at King Abdullah Complex, in Jeddah    Boxer Anthony Joshua visits Misk schools, while boxer Andy Ruiz Jr. visits Disabled Children's Association and Charity Committee for Orphans Care in Riyadh    Saudi Arabia National Futsal Team to Play Friendly Match with Argentina Tomorrow    The Public Investment Fund (PIF) Sponsors the World Heavyweight Boxing Title    MOH: 40% Improvement in Services of Cancer Care Facilities    Sixth Edition of the Saudi Film Festival to Launch Next April    The Importance of Sport for Women" Awareness Event at Najran University "    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Addresses Citizens and Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques addresses Citizens and Muslims on the Advent of Holy Month of Ramadan    Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Launches Awareness Message on Sacrifice Day    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques addresses the Saudi people and Islamic nation on the blessed Eid Al-Fitr    Newcastle Beat West Ham 3-0 for their first Win of the Season    Mourinho insists Ibrahimovic must be good enough for Manchester United    Reforms have saved the economy from possible recession, say analysts    The King and Crown Prince congratulates Moldova's President    More than 1,5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia, so far    MWL allocates SR 7 million for Eid sacrifice project in 47 countries    Saudi Campaign provides educational and training services for Syrians in Al-Za'tari camp    Saudi student goes missing in Kentucky, US    Harvey lashes Texas US coast with high wind, torrential rain    North Korea tests short-range missiles as South Korea, US conduct drills    Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given five-year jail sentence for bribery    Known days    "MODON" Signs MoU with Chinese Goldwind Company for wind-turbines manufacturing in the Kingdom    Flyadeal, Saudi Arabia's new low-cost airline, scheduled to launch on September 23, reports    Mastercard launches Masterpass in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia    Honda among 27 Japan players named for World Cup qualifiers    Joker, Harley Quinn movie in works with 'Crazy Stupid Love' filmmakers    Madhuri Dixit to venture into Marathi films as a producer    Consumers warned against using some brands of face powder, hair products    How 'GOT' makers made the frozen lake in 'Beyond the Wall'    Shraddha Kapoor wants people to help the needy    Neymar targets improvement after phenomenal home debut    Politicizing the pilgrimage    Rakhi 2017: "Bond of Love" between a brother and his sister    







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Nadal, Murray, Federer in the same half
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 01 - 2014

MELBOURNE — As three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic held the Australian Open trophy in a photo shoot before Friday's draw, he joked that having his fingerprints on it may in some way help him win the title for a fourth consecutive year.
The draw certainly didn't dent Djokovic's chances, with top-seeded Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Andy Murray, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro and No. 6 Roger Federer all stacked in the opposite half.
Djokovic's new coach, six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, attended the draw and duly noted that Nadal, Federer and co. were in “a loaded half, that's for sure.”
Djokovic, who is on a 24-match winning streak, opens against No. 90-ranked Lukas Lacko and potentially has a quarterfinal against Stanislas Wawrinka, who took him to 12-10 in the fifth set at the Australian Open last year.
The bottom half of the draw also contains No. 3 David Ferrer, who lost in a semifinal upset at Auckland on Friday, and No. 7 Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic conceded it was an advantage to avoid the other tournament favorites early but said: “Regardless of the draw, the potential opponents that I have in later rounds, I need to direct my attention to my next opponent. There are plenty of players who are able to win the Australian Open this year or any other Grand Slam title.”
On the women's side, top-ranked Serena Williams opens against Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty and has 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur and two-time finalist Li Na in her half.
Two-time defending Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are in the opposite half, meaning they could only meet Serena Williams in the final.
The top half of the men's draw was the talking point, starting with Nadal's first-round match against Australian Bernard Tomic.
“I think that'll be a night match, for sure,” Becker quipped. “But a tough, tricky one for both players. Tomic will certainly have the home support.”
Nadal missed last year's Australian Open with a left knee injury during a seven-month absence from the tour. He returned to win 10 titles in 2013 and regain the No. 1 ranking, overhauling Djokovic in October.
Tomic reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011 and has been ranked as high as No. 27.
His only previous meeting with Nadal resulted in a straight-sets defeat in the third round of the 2011 Australian Open.
Nadal also has No. 25 Gael Monfils, former No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt and 16th-seeded Kei Nishikori in his section.
Federer opens against Australian wildcard entry James Duckworth and Murray takes on Go Soeda of Japan. Likely quarterfinals on that half would feature Nadal against del Potro and Federer against Murray. Del Potro was due to play the final of the Sydney International against Tomic Saturday.
In the bottom half of the women's draw, Azarenka faces Johanna Larsson of Sweden in the first round, while Sharapova takes on American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and could face former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals and Azarenka in the semis.
Stosur, Australia's only seeded player at No. 17, opens against Czech Klara Zakopalova. — AP


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