Emma Raducanu beat Shelby Rogers during her famous run to the US Open title in 2021; the 21-year-old could meet British No 1 Katie Boulter in the third round; defending champions Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka each draw qualifiers in their opening matches in Melbourne
Image: Emma Raducanu will play Shelby Rogers in the first round in Melbourne
Emma Raducanu will make her Grand Slam return at the Australian Open by facing American Shelby Rogers in the first round in Melbourne.
Rogers is a familiar opponent to former US Open champion Raducanu, who beat her during her famous run at Flushing Meadows in 2021.
The 21-year-old, who had wrist and ankle surgeries last May, could play compatriot and British No 1 Katie Boulter in the third round if they both make it that far in the 2024 season-opening slam.
Image: British No 1 Katie Boulter could meet Emma Raducanu in an all-British tie in the third round
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Raducanu made a positive return to action in Auckland last week, pushing Elina Svitolina to three sets in the second round, but pulled out of exhibition matches scheduled at Melbourne Park and the Kooyong Classic this week.
Watch the best of the action from Emma Raducanu’s match against Elina Svitolina at the ASB Classic in Auckland
In the men’s draw, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray is the only British player to draw a seed, as he gets set to face 30th-ranked Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
A five-time finalist in Melbourne, 36-year-old Murray could end up facing world No 1 and record 24-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic in the third round.
Image: Andy Murray is the only British player drawn against a seed as he gets set to face 30th-ranked Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Who have the other British players drawn?
British No 1 Cam Norrie, who pulled out of his ASB Classic quarter-final on Thursday with a wrist injury, is seeded 19th and set to face Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, while 22-year-old talent Jack Draper meets American Marcos Giron and Dan Evans plays Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
Jack Draper explains the impact that Andy Murray has had on his career, describing him as an inspiration
Evans, whose best run at the Australian Open was reaching the fourth round in 2017, would meet second seed Carlos Alcaraz in the second round should they both win their openers.
All British women entered have avoided seeds in the first round, with Boulter drawing China’s Yuan Yue and Jodie Burrage taking on German Tamara Korpatsch.
Two further Brits – Francesca Jones and Oliver Crawford, an American-born player who recently switched allegiance – could also end up in the main draw in Melbourne by coming through qualifying.
What else stood out from the draw?
Image: Novak Djokovic will begin his Australian Open defence against a qualifier in the first round
Defending men’s singles champion Djokovic opens his tournament against a qualifier, as does Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Elena Rybakina in last year’s women’s final.
Third seed Rybakina takes on former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova in the first round, while current world No 1 Iga Swiatek has a tough opener against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin.
Image: World No 1 Iga Swiatek has a tough opening draw against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin
If Swiatek comes through that test, she will face two-time champion Angelique Kerber – who is making a comeback after giving birth last year – or 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins in the second round.
Naomi Osaka, who like Kerber is returning after having a baby, makes her Grand Slam comeback against 16th seed Caroline Garcia. US Open winner Coco Gauff is seeded fourth and faces Anna Karolína Schmiedlova in the first round.
Watch the moment Coco Gauff completed her comeback from a set down to beat Aryna Sabalenka in a thrilling US Open final
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Alcaraz has been drawn against French veteran Richard Gasquet, while last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas has a tough opener former Melbourne semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini.
Third seed Daniil Medvedev, drawn in the same half as Alcaraz, starts against a qualifier, with fourth seed Jannik Sinner – a potential semi-final opponent for Djokovic – playing Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round.
Australian No 1 Alex de Minaur plays 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in his Melbourne opener.
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