Serbia's Novak Djokovic makes a backhand return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Aaron Favila
January 16, 2017

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are set to begin quests for their seventh Australian Open titles on Tuesday at Melbourne Park under sunny skies and temperatures not quite as high as forecast.

Williams, who plays Belinda Bencic in the second match on Rod Laver Arena, is also looking to add to her 22nd Grand Slam singles titles, which would break the record for the Open era.

Djokovic, who has a tough match against veteran Fernando Verdasco to open night play at Rod Laver, has won the Australian Open title five out of the last six years.

Also in action Tuesday are third-seeded Milos Raonic, 14-time major winner iRafael Nadal and Agnieszka Radwanska.

The original steamy weather forecast has been scaled back to a high of 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).

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