Where do Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Venus Williams fall in the Australian Open draw?
If you're a tennis fan, it's time to start the annual process of adjusting your sleep schedule for the Australian Open.
The draw for the year's first Grand Slam event took place on Thursday night in Melbourne. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the top two seeds on the men's side, while Simona Halep and Carolina Wozniacki are the top two seeds in the women's draw, respectively.
Federer will begin his title defense against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia. Federer, ranked No. 2 after a stellar 2017, is aiming to win his 20th major title.
Nadal reached last year's final before falling to Roger Federer in a thrilling five-set match. The Spaniard opens his tournament against Victor Estrella Burgos.
No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov is in Nadal's half of the bracket. Dimitrov, who won last year's ATP Finals and reached the semifinals in Melbourne before bowing out to Nadal, is in the same quarter as Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Novak Djokovic, who returns to Grand Slam play after missing last year's U.S. Open with an injury, is in Federer's half of the bracket. Djokovic, set to face American Donald Young in the first round, could meet Gael Monfils in the second round. Federer could face Juan Martin del Potro, who beat the Swiss in Flushing Meadows last year, in the quarterfinals—though, according to seeding, Federer is projected to face David Goffin.
Last year's women's singles champion, Serena Williams, won't compete after giving birth to her first child in September. Her sister, Venus, who lost to Serena in the 2017 final, opens her tournament against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who has struggled since winning her first major last September, will face Shuai Zhang of China in the first round.
Halep, ranked No. 1, is aiming to win her first Grand Slam title. Halep, who will take on Australian Destanee Aiava in her first match, could face Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.
Several top players—including Williams, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Kei Nishikori—won't participate in this year's tournament for a variety of health–related and personal reasons.
Projected quarterfinals for the men's draw: Rafael Nadal vs. Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov vs. Jack Sock, Dominic Thiem vs. Alexander Zverev, David Goffin vs. Roger Federer.
Projected quarterfinals for the women's draw: Simona Halep vs. Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza vs. Caroline Garcia, Venus Williams vs. Elina Svitolina, Jelena Ostapenko vs. Caroline Wozniacki.